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San Francisco, California 







The First Telling of the Amazing Story 
of the Committee on Public Information 
that Carried the Qospel of American* 
ism to Every Corner of the Qlobe 



Author of 



Copyright, 1920, by Harper & Brothers 

Printed in the United States of America 

Published June, 1920 





















































INDEX 461 




MAURICE F. LYONS Facing p. 70 






GIBSON, L. E. RUBEL " 118 




STELLA " 184 




SISSON " 238 


ARNOLD " 250 

H. HART " 274 








THE Committee on Public Information was wiped out of 
existence on June 30, 1919, by action of Congress. The 
work of the Committee had been discontinued months 
before, and only an orderly liquidation was in progress. 
It was this liquidation that Congress desired to interrupt 
and confuse. No one was left with power to rent a building, 
employ a clerk, transfer a bank balance, or to collect a 
dollar. This condition of chaos endured for weeks for it 
was not until August 21st that the President found power 
to turn the records of the Committee over to the Council 
of National Defense and it is only to-day that a final 
accounting to the people is able to be made. 

At the time of the Committee's annihilation a complete 
report of its activities was on the presses in the Government 
Printing Office. This was included in the general slaughter, 
for not only was it the purpose of Congress to prevent any 
final audit, but also to keep the Committee from making 
a statement of achievement for the information of the 

It was to defeat this pwjrpose that this book has been 
written. It is not a compilation of incident and opinion, 
but a record and a chronicle. I have followed through the 
work of the organization from beginning to end, division 
by division, both as a matter of duty and as a partial dis- 
charge of my debt of gratitude to the men and women 
who worked with me. 



It is to them and to Woodrow Wilson great and in- 
spired leader in the fight for the moral verdict of mankind 
that this volume is dedicated. 


NEW YORK, May l t 1920. 

A very special word of thanks is due to Mr. Maurice 
Lyons, secretary of the Committee from first to last, and 
to Mr. Harvey J. O'Higgins, associate chairman. 


IN view of the fact that the works which Mr. Creel 
has performed are supposed to have been performed under 
the guidance of, or, at least, in association with, the Com- 
mittee on Public Information, consisting of the Secretary 
of State, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary 
of War, I am afraid that if I were to indulge in extravagant 
eulogy of the wise and helpful things Mr. Creel has done 
it might be assumed that I was seeking to reserve for the 
remainder of the Committee some share of the praise. 
I feel sure, however, that if the Secretary of State were 
present he would assent, as the Secretary of the Navy, 
being present, I know does assent, to a statement of the 
attitude of the remaining members of that Committee 
toward Mr. Creel; the feeling is that while our names 
have been used as members of the Committee on Public 
Information, its labors have been the labors of Mr. Creel, 
and, for myself, at least, I can say that the helpfulness has 
been from him to me rather than in the reverse direction. 

I remember a statement of Sir William Hamilton that 
there is nothing great in the world but man, and nothing 
great in man but mind. It is obviously too soon to begin 
to appraise either what this war means to mankind or 
what forces have correlated in the winning of the war, 
and yet our minds have been, I think, rather more occu- 
pied in observing the correlation of physical forces than 

1 Being the informal address of Mr. Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War, at 
a dinner given to Mr. Creel in Washington, November 29, 1918. 



they have in observing the correlation of mental forces; 
and I have a feeling, a very strong feeling, that future 
historians, when they are farther removed from the events 
of to-day, will lay stress upon the latter, not neglecting, 
but at least less emphasizing, the former. When you are 
near the trenches the biggest thing in the world is the man 
in the trenches, and he is a very big thing in the world 
while the war is on. Our minds are fascinated by the 
presence of Americans in France. We see stretching over 
France the products of our mills and our factories; we 
see the boys we have taken from field and workshop and 
factory and office and school manufactured overnight 
into an altogether unsuspected stature of heroism and 
capacity for sacrifice in the field. We see the trained and 
veteran armies of the countries which have long maintained 
a great military policy caught up with by our own recruits, 
hastily trained; we see the ocean, filled with new and 
difficult perils, carrying larger numbers of American sol- 
diers than have ever been transported in the history of 
mankind. Perhaps the greatest foreign army that ever 
crossed a sea in the history of the world prior to the present 
war was the Persian army of a million men, which bridged 
and crossed the Hellespont, and here the American army 
has sent two millions of men across the Atlantic. We see 
workshops and factories in America transferred from civil- 
ian occupations and learning new and difficult arts, ac- 
customing their tools to the manufacture of war supplies, 
and we see American labor learning new skills, new mechan- 
ical inventions brought into quantity production among us. 
So we think of the physical things accomplished because 
we are close to them and because they are visible to the 
senses. Our minds naturally dwell chiefly upon the 
physical things that have been done. There are many 
people in this room who have been in Europe since we 
entered this war, and nobody could possibly go to France, 



enter a port, and travel from any port of France to the 
front-line trenches without recognizing the energy and 
efficiency of his own nation; the strength and skill of his 
own fellow-countrymen; the inventive genius of America; 
the large capacity for industrial output of America stamped 
all over France. 

These things form our imagination; it is our disposition 
to think of the war as a great conflict of physical forces in 
which the best mechanic won, and in which the nation 
that was strongest in material things, which had the 
largest accumulation of wealth and the greatest power of 
concentrating its industrial factors, was the victorious 
nation. Yet, as I said at the outset, I suspect the future 
historian will find under all these physical manifestations 
their mental cause, and will find that the thing which 
ultimately brought about the victory of the Allied forces 
on the western front was not wholly the strength of the 
arm of the soldier, not wholly the number of guns of the 
Allied nations; but it was rather the mental forces that 
were at work nerving those arms, and producing those 
guns, and producing in the civil populations and military 
populations alike of those countries that unconquerable 
determination that this war should have but one end, a 
righteous end. 

The whole business of mobilizing the mind of the world 
so far as American participation in the war was concerned 
was in a sense the work of the Committee on Public In- 
formation. We had an alternative to face when we went 
into this war. The instant reaction of habit and tradition 
was to establish strict censorship, to allow to ooze out just 
such information as a few select persons might deem to 
be helpful, and to suppress all of the things which these 
persons deemed hurtful. This would have been the tra- 
ditional thing to do. I think it was Mr. Creel's idea, and 
it was certainly a great contribution to the mobilization 



of the mental forces of America, to have, in lieu of a Com- 
mittee on Censorship, a Committee on Public Information 
for the production and dissemination as widely as possible 
of the truth about America's participation in the war. 
Undoubtedly for the country to adopt the censorship plan 
would have been to say, "Now, we must all sit still and 
breathe cautiously lest we rock the boat." It was an 
inspiration to say, instead: "Now, this boat is just so 
many feet long, it is so many feet wide, it weighs just so 
much, and the sea is just so deep. If, after having all of 
these facts before you, you think rocking the boat will 
help the cause, rock' 9 That is what the Committee on 
Public Information did, and it required a stroke of genius 
perhaps not a stroke of genius, but something better 
than genius to see that it required faith in democracy, 
it required faith in the fact; for it is a fact that our demo- 
cratic institutions over here would enable us to deal with 
information safely; that, as Mr. Creel believed, if we re- 
ceived the facts we could be trusted. 

Now the men who said that, and started out to give the 
American people all the facts there were, to see that the 
story was fully told, to dig it up out of hidden places and 
put it before the people, performed a very distinct service 
in the war, and, if I may say so, it seems to me a very 
great service to the future of our development, and in the 
application of the fruits of the victory which democracy 
has just won in the world. But it did not stop there. Of 
course, as the head of the War Department I am committed 
irrevocably, and no matter what my private opinions may 
be, to a belief on the much mooted question as to whether 
the pen is mightier than the sword. I am obliged to be- 
lieve that the sword is mightier than the pen. But this 
war wasn't to be won by the sword alone. It was to be 
won by the pen as well as by the sword, and I am not 

speaking now of a purely military victory, because the 



victory is simply a point in time. The Germans signed the 
armistice and began to go pell-mell toward the Rhine; 
they turned over a certain number of ships and railroad- 
cars and big guns, etc., and if that were to end the war, the 
end of it would be no end whatever. The question which 
still remains as a part of winning the war is gathering up 
the results of that war and extracting the real fruits. Of 
course, we should all be happy over the military victory, 
but the things in the victory that will make for our happi- 
ness and for the happiness of our children twenty years 
from now, and our grandchildren forty years from now, 
are the real winnings of the war; these are the things that 
will count most both for our enduring happiness and the 
profit of our children and grandchildren, the things that 
will make most for the truth and the freedom and liberty 
of mankind always; and these are the things that are to 
be won out of this war, not by our way of fighting, but by 
what we fought for, and what other people believe we 
fought for. 

So, it was of the greatest importance that America in 
this war should be represented not merely as a strong man 
fully armed, but as a strong man fully armed and believing 
in the cause for which he was fighting. It was necessary 
to have somebody who understood why we were at war, 
and in saying that I speak not of a man who could com- 
prehend merely the difficult international problems with 
regard to it, but the spirit that made us go into this war, 
and the things we were fighting for. Wars are sometimes 
fought for land, sometimes for dynastic aspiration, and 
sometimes for ideas and ideals. We were fighting for ideas 
and ideals, and somebody who realized that, and knew it, 
had to say it and keep on saying it until it was believed. 
That was a part of the function of the Committee on 
Public Information. Its body was in Washington, but 

its hands reached out into the capitals of neutral countries 



and elsewhere; its representatives were in constant com- 
munication by cable and telegraph and letter with the 
central place here in Washington where there were gathered 
together men of talent and genius and comprehension, and 
the inspiration of their appreciation of America had to go 
out from Washington to all of these outlying places. 
Sometimes it appeared in the newspapers of neutral capi- 
tals, and sometimes it dropped from balloons in written 
statements that were meant to convey to the enemy not 
the size of our army, not the dreadfulness of our means of 
conducting warfare, but the invincible power of our ideas. 

So, when the military end came to this war, it was a 
composite result which was won undoubtedly in part by 
the superb heroism of the American soldiers and the 
veteran soldiers of the nations with whom we were asso- 
ciated. Nothing that is said about any other part of it 
ought to be permitted to take away from these splendid 
soldiers in their hour of triumph any part of the imperish- 
able glory which they have brought to themselves and to 
the nation which they have served. But it was this un- 
seen but persuasive and unending flood of ideas that 
aroused a correct apprehension of the true spirit and 
idealism of America in the war, and when the armistice 
was signed and peace came back into the world, it came, 
led by one hand by the military prowess of the great free 
peoples, and led by the other hand by the conquering idea 
of justice and freedom as expressed in America's idealism. 

Now we are all facing the future rather than the past. 
We are thinking of what we are going to get out of this 
war, and nobody is counting it in gains which can be 
deposited in a bank; nobody is thinking of it in terms com- 
posed of subject peoples, but in terms of the return of law, 
the reign of justice, and the establishment of that com- 
plete morality in the relations of people which we have 
always observed as necessary in the relations of individuals. 



It is a great thing to have fought in this war. Every 
man who fought in this war, and every woman who fought 
in it, will for the rest of his or her life be telling those who 
gather round of the stirring things which took place during 
the years of the war. We shall be telling the new-comers 
on the stage of life, or those who were very young while 
the war was on, of the unselfishness of the sacrifices which 
were made, of the beauty of community co-operation, 
and of the great strength of a nation which is strength- 
ened by high purposes. We shall be telling them all the 
rest of our lives, and I say we because we share with the 
soldiers who went to France the dignity and the glory of 
having fought as they fought, along a somewhat different 
front and with not quite the same peril; but we fought with 
the same spirit, we fought for the same cause, we fought 
with them, and when the night was dark in France, when 
the stars were not visible over the trenches and the noise 
of hostile artillery was menacing and fearful, when it was 
lonesome for the sentinel, the thing that sustained him 
there, the thing that made it possible for him to stay, was 
the unseen but almost palpable hand of his country resting 
on his shoulder. That country has kept true to its ideals 
and its cause, and these have been kept untarnished by 
the principles which were worked out in this country for 
a democratic nation; our ideals have been strengthened 
by their wide-spread dissemination throughout the world. 

It would be impossible, if anybody wanted to do it, to 
pick out the particular persons to whom credit is due for 
these great things. Of course, it is very easy to know 
where the chief credit lies. Nobody could deny that the 
chief credit lies with the Chief Executive of this nation. 
As to all the rest, it is glory enough and credit enough to 
have been permitted to serve under his leadership, and 
in the cause of which he was the leader; but I want to close 
what I have to say by pointing out that the mobilization 



of America, superb as it was, was a mobilization not of 
men alone, nor of money, nor of industry or labor, but a 
mobilization of true appreciation of the rights of man. 
It was a democratic movement which made this great 
result possible, and in that mobilization of ideas the Com- 
mittee on Public Information played a part of great dis- 
tinction and value, and when I speak of the Committee 
on Public Information, of course, I speak largely of Mr. 
Creel. The land forces, for which I speak especially, recog- 
nize with gratitude the debt which they owe for making 
their victory possible, and also making it worth while. 

Part I 



S Secretary Baker points out, the war was not fought 
in France alone. Back of the firing-line, back of 
armies and navies, back of the great supply-depots, an- 
other struggle waged with the same intensity and with 
almost equal significance attaching to its victories and 
defeats. It was the fight for the minds of men, for the 
"conquest of their convictions," and the battle-line ran 
through every home in every country. 

It w T as in this recognition of Public Opinion as a major 
force that the Great War differed most essentially from 
all previous conflicts. The trial of strength was not only 
between massed bodies of armed men, but between op- 
posed ideals, and moral verdicts took on all the value of 
military decisions. Other wars went no deeper than the 
physical aspects, but German Kultur raised issues that had 
to be fought out in the hearts and minds of people as well 
as on the actual firing-line. The approval of the world 
meant the steady flow of inspiration into the trenches; 
it meant the strengthened resolve and the renewed de- 
termination of the civilian population that is a nation's 
second line. The condemnation of the world meant the 


destruction of morale and the surrender of that conviction 
of justice which is the very heart of courage. 

The Committee on Public Information was called into 
existence to make this fight for the "verdict of mankind," 
the voice created to plead the justice of America's cause 
before the jury of Public Opinion. The fantastic legend 
that associated gags and muzzles with its work may be 
likened only to those trees which are evolved out of the 
air by Hindu magicians and which rise, grow, and 
flourish in gay disregard of such usual necessities as roots, 
sap, and sustenance. In no degree was the Committee an 
agency of censorship, a machinery of concealment or repres- 
sion. Its emphasis throughout was on the open and the 
positive. At no point did it seek or exercise authorities under 
those war laws that limited the freedom of speech and press. 
In all things, from first to last, without halt or change, 
it was a plain publicity proposition, a vast enterprise in 
salesmanship, the world's greatest adventure in advertising. 

Under the pressure of tremendous necessities an or- 
ganization grew that not only reached deep into every 
American community, but that carried to every corner of 
the civilized globe the full message of America's idealism, 
unselfishness, and indomitable purpose. We fought prej- 
udice, indifference, and disaffection at home and we fought 
ignorance and falsehood abroad. We strove for the main- 
tenance of our own morale and the Allied morale by every 
process of stimulation; every possible expedient was em- 
ployed to break through the barrage of lies that kept the 
people of the Central Powers in darkness and delusion; 
we sought the friendship and support of the neutral na- 
tions by continuous presentation of facts. We did not 
call it propaganda, for that word, in German hands, had 
come to be associated with deceit and corruption. Our 
effort was educational and informative throughout, for we 
had such confidence in our case as to feel that no other 



argument was needed than the simple, straightforward 
presentation of facts. 

There was no part of the great war machinery that we 
did not touch, no medium of appeal that we did not em- 
ploy. The printed word, the spoken word, the motion 
picture, the telegraph, the cable, the wireless, the poster, 
the sign-board all these were used in our campaign to 
make our own people and all other peoples understand the 
causes that compelled America to take arms. All that was 
fine and ardent in the civilian population came at our call 
until more than one hundred and fifty thousand men and 
women were devoting highly specialized abilities to the 
work of the Committee, as faithful and devoted in their 
service as though they wore the khaki. 

While America's summons was answered without ques- 
tion by the citizenship as a whole, it is to be remembered 
that during the three and a half years of our neutrality 
the land had been torn by a thousand divisive prejudices, 
stunned by the voices of anger and confusion, and muddled 
by the pull and haul of opposed interests. These were 
conditions that could not be permitted to endure. What 
we had to have was no mere surface unity, but a passionate 
belief in the justice of America's cause that should weld 
the people of the United States into one white-hot mass 
instinct with fraternity, devotion, courage, and deathless 
determination. The war-will, the will-to-win, of a de- 
mocracy depends upon the degree to which each one of 
all the people of that democracy can concentrate and con- 
secrate body and soul and spirit in the supreme effort of 
service and sacrifice. What had to be driven home was 
that all business was the nation's business, and every 
task a common task for a single purpose. 

Starting with the initial conviction that the war was 
not the war of an administration, but the war of one 

hundred million people, and believing that public support 



was a matter of public understanding, we opened up the 
activities of government to the inspection of the citizen- 
ship. A voluntary censorship agreement safeguarded mili- 
tary information of obvious value to the enemy, but in 
all else the rights of the press were recognized and furthered. 
Trained men, at the center of effort in every one of the war- 
making branches of government, reported on progress and 
achievement, and in no other belligerent nation was there 
such absolute frankness with respect to every detail of 
the national war endeavor. 

As swiftly as might be, there were put into pamphlet 
form America's reasons for entering the war, the meaning 
of America, the nature of our free institutions, our war 
aims, likewise analyses of the Prussian system, the pur- 
poses of the imperial German government, and full ex- 
posure of the enemy's misrepresentations, aggressions, and 
barbarities. Written by the country's foremost publi- 
cists, scholars, and historians, and distinguished for their 
conciseness, accuracy, and simplicity, these pamphlets 
blew as a great wind against the clouds of confusion and 
misrepresentation. Money could not have purchased the 
volunteer aid that was given freely, the various universi- 
ties lending their best men and the National Board of 
Historical Service placing its three thousand members at 
the complete disposal of the Committee. Some thirty- 
odd booklets, covering every phase of America's ideals, 
purposes, and aims, were printed in many languages other 
than English. Seventy-five millions reached the people 
of America, and other millions went to every corner of the 
world, carrying our defense and our attack. 

The importance of the spoken word was not under- 
estimated. A speaking division toured great groups like 
the Blue Devils, Pershing's Veterans, and the Belgians, 
arranged mass-meetings in the communities, conducted 
forty-five war conferences from coast to coast, co-ordi- 


nated the entire speaking activities of the nation, and as- 
sured consideration to the crossroads hamlet as well as to 
the city. 

The Four Minute Men, an organization that will live 
in history by reason of its originality and effectiveness, 
commanded the volunteer services of 75,000 speakers, 
operating in 5,200 communities, and making a total of 
755,190 speeches, every one having the carry of shrapnel. 

With the aid of a volunteer staff of several hundred 
translators, the Committee kept in direct touch with the 
foreign-language press, supplying selected articles designed 
to combat ignorance and disaffection. It organized and 
directed twenty-three societies and leagues designed to 
appeal to certain classes and particular foreign-language 
groups, each body carrying a specific message of unity 
and enthusiasm to its section of America's adopted peoples. 

It planned war exhibits for the state fairs of the United 
States, also a great series of interallied war expositions that 
brought home to our millions the exact nature of the 
struggle that was being waged in France. In Chicago alone 
two million people attended in two weeks, and in nineteen 
cities the receipts aggregated $1,432,261.36. 

The Committee mobilized the advertising forces of the 
country press, periodical, car, and outdoor for the 
patriotic campaign that gave millions of dollars' worth of 
free space to the national service. 

It assembled the artists of America on a volunteer basis 
for the production of posters, window-cards, and similar 
material of pictorial publicity for the use of various govern- 
ment departments and patriotic societies. A total of 
1,438 drawings was used. 

It issued an official daily newspaper, serving every de- 
partment of government, with a circulation of one hundred 
thousand copies a day. For official use only, its value was 
such that private citizens ignored the supposedly pro- 


hibitive subscription price, subscribing to the amount of 

It organized a bureau of information for all persons who 
sought direction in volunteer war-work, in acquiring knowl- 
edge of any administrative activities, or in approaching 
business dealings with the government. In the ten months 
of its existence it gave answers to eighty -six thousand 
requests for specific information. 

It gathered together the leading novelists, essayists, 
and publicists of the land, and these men and women, 
without payment, worked faithfully in the production of 
brilliant, comprehensive articles that went to the press as 
syndicate features. 

One division paid particular attention to the rural press 
and the plate-matter service. Others looked after the 
specialized needs of the labor press, the religious press, and 
the periodical press. The Division of Women's War W r ork 
prepared and issued the information of peculiar interest 
to the women of the United States, also aiding in the task 
of organizing and directing. 

Through the medium of the motion picture, America's 
war progress, as well as the meanings and purposes of 
democracy, were carried to every community in the United 
States and to every corner of the world. "Pershing's 
Crusaders," "America's Answer," and "Under Four 
Flags " were types of feature films by which we drove home 
America's resources and determinations, while other pict- 
ures, showing our social and industrial life, made our free 
institutions vivid to foreign peoples. From the domestic 
showings alone, under a fair plan of distribution, the sum 
of $878,215 was gained, which went to support the cost of 
the campaigns in foreign countries where the exhibitions 
were necessarily free. 

Another division prepared and distributed still photo- 
graphs and stereopticon slides to the press and public. 



Over two hundred thousand of the latter were issued at 
cost. This division also conceived the idea of the "permit 
system," that opened up our military and naval activities 
to civilian camera men, and operated it successfully. It 
handled, also, the voluntary censorship of still and motion 
pictures in order that there might be no disclosure of in- 
formation valuable to the enemy. The number of pictures 
reviewed averaged seven hundred a day. 

Turning away from the United States to the world be- 
yond our borders, a triple task confronted us. First, there 
were the peoples of the Allied nations that had to be fired 
by the magnitude of the American effort and the certainty 
of speedy and effective aid, in order to relieve the war- 
weariness of the civilian population and also to fan the 
enthusiasm of the firing-line to new flame. Second, we 
had to carry the truth to the neutral nations, poisoned by 
German lies; and third, we had to get the ideals of America, 
the determination of America, and the invincibility of 
America into the Central Powers. 

Unlike other countries, the United States had no sub- 
sidized press service with which to meet the emergency. 
As a matter of bitter fact, we had few direct news contacts 
of our own with the outside world, owing to a scheme of 
contracts that turned the foreign distribution of American 
news over to European agencies. The volume of informa- 
tion that went out from our shores was small, and, what 
was worse, it was concerned only with the violent and 
unusual in our national life. It was news of strikes and 
lynchings, riots, murder cases, graft prosecutions, sensa- 
tional divorces, the bizarre extravagance of "sudden mill- 
ionaires." Naturally enough, we were looked upon as a 
race of dollar-mad materialists, a land of cruel monopolists, 
our real rulers the corporations and our democracy a 

Looking about for some way in which to remedy this 



evil situation, we saw the government wireless lying com- 
paratively idle, and through the close and generous co- 
operation of the navy we worked out a news machinery 
that soon began to pour a steady stream of American 
information into international channels of communication. 
Opening an office in every capital of the world outside the 
Central Powers, a daily service went out from Tuckerton 
to the Eiffel Tower for use in France and then for relay to 
our representatives in Berne, Rome, Madrid, and Lisbon. 
From Tuckerton the service flashed to England, and from 
England there was relay to Holland, the Scandinavian 
countries, and Russia. We went into Mexico by cable 
and land wires; from Darien we sent a service in Spanish 
to Central and South-American countries for distribution 
by our representatives; the Orient was served by telegraph 
from New York to San Diego, and by wireless leaps to 
Cavite and Shanghai. From Shanghai the news went to 
Tokio and Peking, and from Peking on to Vladivostok for 
Siberia. Australia, India, Egypt, and the Balkans were 
also reached, completing the world chain. 

For the first time in history the speeches of a national 
executive_were given universal circulation. The official 
addresses of President Wilson, setting forth the position 
of America, were put on the wireless always at the very 
moment of their delivery, and within twenty-four hours 
were in every language in every country in the world. 
Carried in the newspapers initially, they were also printed 
by the Committee's agents on native presses and circu- 
lated by the millions. The swift rush of our war progress, 
the tremendous resources of the United States, the Acts 
of Congress, our official deeds and utterances, the laws 
that showed our devotion to justice, instances of our en- 
thusiasm and unity all were put on the wireless for the 
information of the world, Teheran and Tokio getting 

them as completely as Paris or Rome or London or Madrid. 



Through the press of Switzerland, Denmark, and Hol- 
land we filtered an enormous amount of truth to the Ger- 
man people, and from our headquarters in Paris went out 
a direct attack upon Hun censorship. Mortar-guns, loaded 
with "paper bullets," and airplanes, carrying pamphlet 
matter, bombarded the German front, and at the time of 
the armistice balloons with a cruising radius of five hun- 
dred miles were ready to reach far into the Central Powers 
with America's message. 

This daily news service by wire and radio was sup- 
plemented by a mail service of special articles and illus- 
trations that went into foreign newspapers and magazines 
and technical journals and periodicals of special appeal. 
We aimed to give in this way a true picture of the American 
democracy, not only in its war activities, but also in its 
devotion to the interests of peace. There were, too, series 
of illustrated articles on our education, our trade and in- 
dustry, our finance, our labor conditions, our religions, 
our work in medicine, our agriculture, our women's work, 
our government, and our ideals. 

Reading-rooms were opened in foreign countries and 
furnished with American books, periodicals, and news- 
papers. Schools and public libraries were similarly sup- 
plied. Photographs were sent for display on easels in shop 
windows abroad. Window-hangers and news-display sheets 
went out in English, French, Italian, Swedish, Portuguese, 
Spanish, Danish, Norwegian, and Dutch; and display- 
sheets went to Russia, China, Japan, Korea, parts of India 
and the Orient, to be supplemented with printed reading- 
matter by the Committee's agents there. 

To our representatives in foreign capitals went, also, the 
feature films that showed our military effort cantonments, 
shipyards, training - stations, war - ships, and marching 
thousands together with other motion pictures expressing 

our social and industrial progress, all to be retitled in the 



language of the land, and shown either in theaters, public 
squares, or open fields. Likewise we supplied pamphlets 
for translation and distribution, and sent speakers, selected 
in the United States from among our foreign-born, to lect- 
ure in the universities and schools, or else to go about 
among the farmers, to the labor unions, to the mer- 
chants, etc. 

Every conceivable means was used to reach the foreign 
mind with America's message, and in addition to our direct 
approach we hit upon the idea of inviting the foremost 
newspaper men of other nations to come to the United 
States to see with their own eyes, to hear with their own 
ears, in order that they might report truly to their people 
as to American unity, resolve, and invincibility. The 
visits of the editors of Mexico, Italy, Switzerland, Den- 
mark, Sweden, and Norway were remarkable in their 
effect upon these countries, and no less successful were 
the trips made to the American front in France under 
our guidance by the newspaper men of Holland and 

Before this flood of publicity the German misrepre- 
sentations were swept away in Switzerland, the Scandi- 
navian countries, Italy, Spain, the Far East, Mexico, and 
Central and South America. From being the most mis- 
understood nation, America became the most popular. 
A world that was either inimical, contemptuous, or indif- 
ferent was changed into a world of friends and well-wishers. 
Our policies, America's unselfish aims in the war, the ser- 
vices by which these policies were explained and these 
aims supported, and the flood of news items and articles 
about our normal life and our commonplace activities 
these combined to give a true picture of the United States 
to foreign eyes. It is a picture that will be of incalculable 
value in our future dealings with the world, political and 

commercial. It was a bit of press-agenting that money 



could not buy, done out of patriotism by men and women 
whose services no money could have bought. 

In no other belligerent nation was there any such degree 
of centralization as marked our duties. In England and 
France, for instance, five to ten organizations were in- 
trusted with the tasks that the Committee discharged 
in the United States. And in one country, in one year, 
many of the warring nations spent more money than the 
total expenditure of the Committee on Public Information 
during the eighteen months of its existence in its varied 
activities that reached to every community in America 
and to every corner of the civilized world. From the 
President's fund we received $5,600,000, and Congress 
granted us an appropriation of $1,250,000, a total working 
capital of $6,850,000. From our films, war expositions, 
and minor sources we earned $2,825,670.23, and at the 
end were able to return $2,937,447 to the Treasury. 
Deduct this amount from the original appropriations, and 
it is seen that the Committee on Public Information cost 
the taxpayers of the United States just $4,912,553! 
These figures might well be put in bronze to stand as an 
enduring monument to the sacrifice and devotion of the 
one hundred and fifty thousand men and women who were 
responsible for the results. A world-fight for the verdict 
of mankind a fight that was won against terrific odds 
and all for less than five millions less than half what 
Germany spent in Spain alone! 

It is the pride of the Committee, as it should be the pride 
of America, that every activity was at all times open to 
the sun. No dollar was ever sent on a furtive errand, no 
paper subsidized, no official bought. From a thousand 
sources we were told of the wonders of German propaganda, 
but our original determinations never altered. Always 
did we try to find out what the Germans were doing and 
then we did not do it. 



There is pride, also, in the record of stainless patriotism 
and unspotted Americanism. In June, 1918, after one year 
of operation a year clamorous with ugly attack the 
Committee submitted itself to the searching examination 
of the House Committee on Appropriations. Every charge 
of partizanship, dishonesty, inaccuracy, and inefficiency 
was investigated, the expenditure of every dollar scruti- 
nized, and the Congressmen even went back as far as 1912 
to study my writings and my political thought. At the 
end of the inquiry the appropriation was voted unani- 
mously, and on the floor of the House the Republican 
members supported the recommendation as strongly as 
did the Democrats. Mr. Gillett of Massachusetts, then 
acting leader of the Republican minority, and now Speaker, 
made this declaration in the course of the debate: 

But after examining Mr. Creel and the other members of his 
bureau I came to the conclusion that as far as any evidence 
that we could discover it had not been conducted in a partizan 

Mr. Mondel of Wyoming, after expressing his dis- 
approval of Initiative and Referendum editorials written 
by me in 1912, spoke as follows: 

Having said this much about Mr. Creel and his past utter- 
ances, I now want to say that I believe Mr. Creel has endeavored 
to patriotically do his duty at the head of this bureau. I am 
of the opinion that, whatever his opinions may have been or 
may be now, so far as his activities in connection with this 
work are concerned, they have been, in the main, judicious, and 
that the work has been carried on for the most part in a business- 
like, thoroughgoing, effective, and patriotic way. Mr. Creel 
has called to his assistance and placed in positions of respon- 
sibility men of a variety of political views, some of them Repub- 
licans of recognized standing. I do not believe that Mr. Creel 
has endeavored to influence their activities and I do not believe 
there have been any activities of the bureau consciously and 



intentionally partizan. A great work has been done. A great 
work has been done by the Four Minute Men, forty thousand 
of them speaking continuously to audiences, ready-made, all 
over the country. A great work has been done and will be done 
through the medium of the picture-film. A great work has been 
done through the medium of the publications of the bureau, 
which I believe can be commended and approved by every good 
citizen. Much remains to be done, and I believe the committee 
has not granted any too much money for this work. 



THE initial disadvantages and persistent misunder- 
standings that did so much to cloud public estimation 
of the Committee had their origin in the almost instant 
antagonism of the metropolitan press. At the time of my 
appointment a censorship bill was before Congress, and 
the newspapers, choosing to ignore the broad sweep of the 
Committee's functions, proceeded upon the exclusive as- 
sumption that I was to be "the censor." As a result of 
press attack and Senate discussion, the idea became gen- 
eral and fixed that the Committee was a machinery of 
secrecy and repression organized solely to crush free speech 
and a free press. 

As a matter of fact, I was strongly opposed to the censor- 
ship bill, and delayed acceptance of office until the Presi- 
dent had considered approvingly the written statement 
of my views on the subject. It was not that I denied the 
need of some sort of censorship, but deep in my heart was 
the feeling that the desired results could be obtained 
without paying the price that a formal law would have 
demanded. Aside from the physical difficulties of enforce- 
ment, the enormous cost, and the overwhelming irritation 
involved, I had the conviction that our hope must lie in 
the aroused patriotism of the newspaper men of America. 

With the nation in arms, the need was not so much to 
keep the press from doing the hurtful things as to get it 



to do the helpful things. It was not servants we wanted, 
but associates. Better far to have the desired compulsions 
proceed from within than to apply them from without. 
Also, for the first time in our history, soldiers of the United 
States were sailing to fight in a foreign land, leaving fami- 
lies three thousand miles behind them. Nothing was more 
important than that there should be the least possible im- 
pairment of the people's confidence in the printed informa- 
tion presented to them. Suspicious enough by reason of 
natural anxieties, a censorship law would have turned 
every waiting heart over to the fear that news was being 
either strangled or minimized. 

Aside from these considerations, there was the freedom 
of the press to bear in mind. No other right guaranteed by 
democracy has been more abused, but even these abuses 
are preferable to the deadening evil of autocratic control. 
In addition, it is the inevitable tendency of such legisla- 
tion to operate solely against the weak and the powerless, 
and, as I pointed out, the European experience was thick 
with instances of failure to proceed against great dailies 
for bold infraction. 

Censorship laws, too, even though they protest that the 
protection of military secrets is their one original object, 
have a way of slipping over into the field of opinion, for 
arbitrary power grows by what it feeds on. "Information 
of value to the enemy" is an elastic phrase and, when 
occasion requires, can be stretched to cover the whole 
field of independent discussion. Nothing, it seemed to 
me, was more dangerous, for people did not need less 
criticism in tune of war, but more. Incompetence and 
corruption, bad enough in peace, took on an added menace 
when the nation was in arms. One had a right to hope 
that the criticism would be honest, just, and constructive, 
but even a blackguard's voice was preferable to the dead 
silence of an iron suppression. 



My proposition, in lieu of the proposed law, was a vol- 
untary agreement that would make every paper in the 
land its own censor, putting it up to the patriotism and 
common sense of the individual editor to protect purely 
military information of tangible value to the enemy. The 
plan was approved and, without further thought of the 
pending bill, we proceeded to prepare a statement to the 
press of America that would make clear the necessities of 
the war-machine even while removing doubts and distrusts. 
The specific requests of the army and the navy were com- 
paratively few, and were concerned only with the move- 
ments of troops, the arrival and departure of ships, loca- 
tion of the fleet, and similar matters obviously secret in 
their nature. As illustrative of the whole tone of the dis- 
cussion that accompanied the requests, these paragraphs 
are cited: 

The European press bureaus have also attempted to keep 
objectionable news from their own people. This must be clearly 
differentiated from the problem of keeping dangerous news from 
the enemy. It will be necessary at times to keep information 
from OUT own people in order to keep it from the enemy, but 
most of the belligerent countries have gone much farther. In 
one of the confidential documents submitted to us there is, 
under Censorship Regulations, a long section with the heading, 
"News likely to cause anxiety or distress." Among the things 
forbidden under this section are the publication of "reports 
concerning outbreaks of epidemics in training-camps," "news- 
paper articles tending to raise unduly the hopes of the people 
as to the success" of anticipated military movements. This 
sort of suppression has obviously nothing to do with the keeping 
of objectionable news from the enemy. 

The motive for the establishment of this internal censorship 
is not merely fear of petty criticism, but distrust of democratic 
common sense. The officials fear that the people will be stam- 
peded by false news and sensational scare stories. The danger 
feared is real, but the experience of Europe indicates that censor- 
ship regulations do not solve the problem, A printed story is 



tangible even if false. It can be denied. Its falsity can be 
proven. It is not nearly so dangerous as a false rumor. 

The atmosphere created by common knowledge that news is 
being suppressed is an ideal " culture " for the propaganda of the 
bacteria of enemy rumors. This state of mind was the thing 
which most impressed Americans visiting belligerent countries. 
Insane and dangerous rumors, some of obvious enemy origin, 
were readily believed, and they spread with amazing rapidity. 
This is a greater danger than printing scare stories. No one 
knows who starts a rumor, but there is a responsible editor 
behind every printed word. But the greatest objection to cen- 
soring of the news against the home population is that it has 
always tended to create the abuse of shielding from public 
criticism the dishonesty or incompetency of high officials. While 
it certainly has never been the policy of any of the European 
press bureaus to accomplish this result, the internal censorship 
has generally worked out this way. And there are several well- 
established instances where the immense power of the censor 
has fallen into the control of intriguing cliques. Nominally striv- 
ing to protect the public from pernicious ideas, they have used 
the censorship to protect themselves from legitimate criticism. 

A proof of the statement was sent to every member of 
the press gallery, and after sufficient time for proper 
study a meeting was called at which Mr. Arthur Bullard, 
Mr. Edgar G. Sisson, and I presented ourselves for ques- 
tioning and full examination. We explained that as the 
agreement was to be both public and voluntary, their assent 
must not be qualified by any doubt, and that we stood 
ready to make any proper changes, either in phraseology 
or principle. The temper of the gathering, hostile at first, 
grew more friendly as understandings were reached, and 
when we left it seemed a certainty that the plan would be 
approved. Unfortunately, however, the papers of the fol- 
lowing morning contained a letter from the President in 
which he entered denial of the report that he had with- 
drawn his support from the proposed censorship law. 
This was the position of the military authorities, and as the 



President had agreed to their suggestions in the beginning, 
he felt, without doubt, that his pledge of approval could 
not be canceled while the various generals and admirals 
were still unchanged in their insistence that they must 
have the protection afforded by an explicit statute. 

Even though we knew the utter hopelessness of it, we 
went ahead with our plans and issued the statement to 
the press exactly as presented to the Washington corre- 
spondents. What followed quickly was another act in the 
serio-tragic drama of misunderstanding. The Secretaries 
of State, War, and the Navy had each been asked to give 
his views, and those that came from the office of Mr. 
Lansing read as follows: 

The Department of State considers it dangerous and of 
service to the enemy to discuss differences of opinion between 
the Allies and difficulties with neutral countries. 

The protection of information belonging to friendly countries 
is most important. Submarine-warfare news is a case in point. 
England permits this government to have full information, 
but as it is England's policy not to publish details, this govern- 
ment must support that policy. 

Speculation about possible peace is another topic which may 
possess elements of danger, as peace reports may be of enemy 
origin put out to weaken the combination against Germany. 

Generally speaking, articles likely to prove offensive to any 
of the Allies or to neutrals would be undesirable. 

Convinced that a trick had been attempted and eager 
to find something to sustain their suspicions, the papers 
seized upon Mr. Lansing's ideas and held them up to heaven 
in witness of the Administration's dark plot. Not one 
took into account that the whole proposal rested upon 
voluntary agreement entirely, not upon law, and that the 
suggestions of the Department of State were advisory 
only and without larger power to bind than that 

allowed by the individual editor. Equally did every paper 



ignore the fact that the statement itself, in the outline of 
fundamental principles, contained these explicit guaranties: 

Nearly all the European belligerents have also tried to prevent 
the publication of news likely to offend their allies or create 
friction between them. The Committee is of the opinion that the 
more full the interally discussion of their mutual problems the 
better. Matters of high strategy, and so forth, will of course 
have to be kept secret by the war council, but the more the 
people of the Allied countries get acquainted with one another 
through their newspapers the better. If any case arises where 
one of our papers uses insulting or objectionable language against 
our comrades in arms it had best be dealt with individually. 
But so far as possible this Committee will maintain the rule of 
free discussion in such matters. 

The clamor refused to be stilled, however, and Mr. 
Hearst and the Republican Senators reached the stage of 
hysteria in their passionate defense of the "freedom of the 
press," that "guardian of liberty," that "palladium," etc. 
The bill, brought again into consideration, was defeated 
decisively and finally. And with this irritation out of the 
way, we had hope of a return to common sense and so, 
without more ado, we issued the following card: 


The desires of the government with respect to the concealment 
from the enemy of military policies, plans, and movements are 
set forth in the following specific requests. They go to the 
press of the United States directly from the Secretary of War 
and the Secretary of the Navy and represent the thought and 
advice of their technical advisers. They do not apply to news 
despatches censored by military authority with f he expeditionary 
forces or in those cases where the government itself, in the form 
of official statements, may find it necessary or expedient to 
make public information covered by these requests. 

For the protection of our military and naval forces and of 

3 21 


merchant shipping it is requested that secrecy be observed in all 
matters of 

1. Advance information of the routes and schedules of troop 
movements. (See Par. 5.) 

2. Information tending to disclose the number of troops in the 
expeditionary forces abroad. 

3. Information calculated to disclose the location of the 
permanent base or bases abroad. 

4. Information that would disclose the location of American 
units or the eventual position of the American forces at the 

5. Information tending to disclose an eventual or actual port 
of embarkation; or information of the movement of military 
forces toward seaports or of the assembling of military forces at 
seaports from which inference might be drawn of any intention 
to embark them for service abroad; and information of the 
assembling of transports or convoys; and information of the 
embarkation itself. 

6. Information of the arrival at any European port of American 
war-vessels, transports, or any portion of any expeditionary 
force, combatant or non-combatant. 

7. Information of the time of departure of merchant ships 
from American or European ports, or information of the ports 
from which they sailed, or information of their cargoes. 

8. Information indicating the port of arrival of incoming ships 
from European ports or after their arrival indicating, or hinting 
at, the port at which the ship arrived. 

9. Information as to convoys and as to the sighting of friendly 
or enemy ships, whether naval or merchant. 

10. Information of the locality, number, or identity of vessels 
belonging to our own navy or to the navies of any country at 
war with Germany. 

11. Information of the coast or anti-aircraft defenses of the 
United States. Any information of their very existence, as 
well as the number, nature, or position of their guns, is dangerous. 

12. Information of the laying of mines or mine-fields or of any 
harbor defenses. 

13. Information of the aircraft and appurtenances used at 
government aviation-schools for experimental tests under military 
authority, and information of contracts and production of air 
material, and information tending to disclose the numbers and 



organization of the air division, excepting when authorized by 
the Committee on Public Information. 

14. Information of all government devices and experiments in 
war material, excepting when authorized by the Committee on 
Public Information. 

15. Information of secret notices issued to mariners or other 
confidential instructions issued by the navy or the Department 
of Commerce relating to lights, lightships, buoys, or other guides 
to navigation. 

16. Information as to the number, size, character, or location 
of ships of the navy ordered laid down at any port or shipyard, 
or in actual process of construction; or information that they 
are launched or in commission. 

17. Information of the train or boat schedules of traveling 
official missions in transit through the United States. 

18. Information of the transportation of munitions or ol war 

Photographs. Photographs conveying the information speci- 
fied above should not be published. 

These requests to the press are without larger authority than the 
necessities of the war-making branches. Their enforcement is a 
matter for the press itself. To the overwhelming proportion of 
newspapers who have given unselfish, patriotic adherence to the 
voluntary agreement the government extends its gratitude and 
high appreciation. 


By GEORGE CREEL, Chairman. 

Will any American deny that these requests proceeded 
properly and inevitably from the necessities of war, and 
that each one had its base in common sense? Do they sug- 
gest any attempt on the part of the government to curb, 
influence, or confine the right of criticism? Even to-day, 
when the war is a thing of the past, can it be said that the 
card contained a word or a phrase to which any decent 
American could take objection? Newspaper men, it must 
be remembered, were holding peace-time jobs while others 
sacrificed or fought. Should it not have been their glad 
duty to aid enthusiastically in the provision of a veil of 



secrecy that meant larger safety for American ships and 
troops and larger chances for American military success? 

Our European comrades in arms viewed the experiment 
with amazement, not unmixed with anxiety, for in every 
other belligerent country censorship laws established iron 
rules, rigid suppressions, and drastic prohibitions carrying 
severe penalties. Yet the American idea worked. And it 
worked better than any European law. Troop-trains 
moved, transports sailed, ships arrived and departed, in- 
ventions were protected, and military plans advanced, all 
behind a wall of concealment built upon the honor of 
the press and the faith of the individual editor. Yet while 
the thing itself was done there was no joy and pride in 
the doing. Never at any time was it possible to persuade 
the whole body of Washington correspondents to think of 
the voluntary censorship in terms of human life and na- 
tional hopes. A splendid, helpful minority caught the idea 
and held to it, but the majority gave themselves over to 
exasperation and antagonism, rebelling continuously against 
even the appearance of restraint. Partizanship, as a matter 
of course, played a larger part in this attitude, but a great 
deal of it proceeded from what the French call "profes- 
sional deformation." Long training had developed the 
conviction that nothing in the world was as important as a 
"story," and not even the grim fact of war could remove 
this obsession. 

In face of the printed card, with its simple requests un- 
supported by law, the press persisted in spreading the 
belief that I was a censor, and with mingled moans and 
protests each paper did its best to make the people believe 
that the voluntary censorship was not voluntary, and that 
the uncompelled thing the press was doing was not really 
uncompelled at all. 

When one paper violated the agreement, as many did 
in the beginning, all the others were instant in their 



clamor that the Committee should straightway inflict some 
sort of "punishment." This was absurd, for we had no 
authority, and they knew that we had none, yet when we 
made this obvious answer, a general cry would arise that 
the "whole business should be thrown over." Never at 
any time did it occur to the press to provide its own dis- 
cipline for the punishment of dishonor. 

All through the first few months it was a steady whine 
and nag and threat. Every little triviality was magnified 
into an importance, and the manufacture of mole-hills 
into mountains was the favorite occupation. The follow- 
ing letter, written on July 12, 1917, to the editor of a great 
metropolitan daily may serve to give some idea of the 
general attack: 

Your signed article on censorship, "What We, and You, 
Are Up Against," is written so fairly, and in such evident honesty 
of purpose, that I feel sure you will be glad to have me inform 
you with respect to its various inaccuracies. 

1. Never at any time did this Committee ask suppression of 
the name of the monitor Amphitrite that rammed the steamer 
Manchuria. It is the policy of the navy to give instant and 
complete publicity to all accidents and disasters, and a full 
report of the ramming was sent out at once. Your own corre- 
spondent argued that the name of the Amphitrite should not be 
used, and if you did not get the information it was because he 
did not send it. Even so, you had the name in the Associated 
Press despatches with full permission to use it. 

2. With regard to the closing of the port of New York, this 
was done by order of the port commandant. The Navy Depart- 
ment was not informed officially, and when queried by the press 
asked that the news be withheld until an explanation could be 
gained from the New York authorities. This was at 11 A.M. 
At one o'clock this Committee gave out a complete statement 
as to the closing and reopening, and all the afternoon papers, 
in their later editions, carried the story. No request of any 
kind was made upon the morning papers. 

3. You state that your paper applied to the Committee for 
permission to print that the Root Mission was passing through 



Chicago on its way to Russia, and that it was given. Your 
Washington correspondent cannot tell us the name of the man 
that answered the telephone, nor have I been able to discover 
it myself. I do not doubt for a minute that the call was made, 
but the fact remains that it was not until a full week after the 
Root incident that this Committee commenced its day and 
night reference service. At the time we were about ten days 
old and trying to get offices. 

4. The facts regarding the landing of the first contingent of 
the Pershing expedition are few and simple. The War Depart- 
ment had requested that no announcement of any kind be made 
until the arrival in port of the last troop-ship. The Associated 
Press released the news from its New York office. This was 
done without the consent or knowledge of this Committee or of 
the War Department. 

Our first intimation was a telephone-call from the United 
Press, stating the action of the Associated Press, and informing 
us that the United Press felt itself released from its word, and 
was sending the news out over its own wires. I told the United 
Press manager that the War Department still insisted upon 
secrecy, and he straightway issued a bulletin asking a "kill." 
I called up the Associated Press at once, and was informed that 
the story had been released from the New York office an hour 
before, that it was "on the street," and that a "kill" was im- 
possible. I then telephoned the United Press that it was at 
liberty to disregard my request for the "kill." I have no apology 
whatever to make for this honest attempt to protect good faith. 

5. With regard to Secretary Daniels's statement of encounter 
with submarines, any doubt you may have had as of its accuracy 
should have been dispelled by a careful reading of your own 
paper. In the same issue that carried your article on censorship 
there appeared a front-page story that told of two separate 
attacks by submarines, making the claim that two U-boats were 
sunk. If you should be worried again as to the truth of Secre- 
tary Daniels's statement, I would urge you to read your own 
vivid, convincing narrative. 

So much, then, for what you term "hodge-podge official 
handling of information." In view of my explanations, will 
you still insist that we are to blame for the "hodge-podge*'? 
But if all that you allege were true, if we had been guilty of the 
blunders that you charge, what of it? 



The secrecies sought to be obtained by the War and Navy 
Departments have concern with the lives of America's youth. 
Irritation and impatience are the worst that can possibly befall 
you and your readers, but death may be the fate of the soldiers 
and sailors that are called upon to run the gantlet of submarines. 
When men are going forth to fight and die, surely it is not a time 
for those who remain at home in ease and safety to wax angry 
over things that, even if true, are essentially trivial. 

Very sincerely, 


This voluntary agreement, having no force in law, and 
made possible only by patience, infinite labor, and the 
pressure of conscience upon the individual, was the Com- 
mittee on Public Information's one and only connection 
with censorship of any kind. At no time did the Com- 
mittee exercise or seek authorities under the war measures 
that limited the peace-time freedom of individuals or pro- 
fessions. Not only did we hold aloof from the workings 
of the Espionage law, operated by the Postmaster-General 
and the Attorney-General, but it was even the case that 
we incurred angers and enmities by incessant attempt 
to soften the rigors of the measure. 



ASIDE from the regulation "censorship" cry, the thing 
2\ that worked principally to the prejudice of the Com- 
mittee on Public Information was the charge that I "elab- 
orated" a "cryptic" cable sent by Admiral Gleaves, and 
gave to the country an utterly false account of submarine 
attack upon our first transports. Although disproved 
fully, the falsehood persisted to our hurt and discredit, 
and even to this day there are people honestly of the 
opinion that the initial troop-ships had a "safe and un- 
eventful voyage." Of the many lies leveled against the 
Committee during its existence, I think I minded this lie 
the most, for not only was it peculiarly indecent in its 
groundlessness, but its contemptible course carried far 
beyond me and struck down a people's pride in their navy 
at the exact moment when that pride was a war necessity. 
For the first time in history American soldiers were being 
sent to fight on foreign soil, traveling ocean lanes thick 
with U-boats, and the period of suspense was our "zero 
hour." The news of safe arrival, of dangers met and con- 
quered, was a clarion to the courage of the nation, yet this 
helpful enthusiasm was changed into a sneer for no greater 
reason than that a press association might have a "story" 
and that partizan Senators might take a fling at the Ad- 
ministration. Here are the facts: 

The first transports, leaving in June, sailed in four sep- 



arated groups to minimize the danger of submarine at- 
tack. We had no cable censorship at the time, and out of 
fear of enemy communication, the press was asked to 
make no announcement of departure or arrival until the 
last of the four groups reached St. Nazaire. On June 
27th, however, through some blunder in France, the As- 
sociated Press received a despatch announcing the arrival 
of the first group, and without reference to the War De- 
partment or to the Committee it put the news upon its 
wires from its New York office. By way of contribution 
to the general confusion, various correspondents attempted 
to prove that I had given the Associated Press authoriza- 
tion for the release, and printed the falsehood that the Secre- 
tary of War had "broken" relations with the Committee 
in consequence. 

At the very time of the premature announcement we 
knew that the other three groups were either in or near the 
danger zone. Adding to the anxiety occasioned, a cable 
came from Admiral Gleaves in command of the transports, 
telling of attacks by submarines, their repulse, and the 
certain sinking of one U-boat. Even without this news 
the tension was extreme and there was not a heart in any 
department in Washington that did not wait in sick 

Late in the afternoon of July 3d the navy received the 
flash that announced the safe arrival of the last group, and 
the correspondents were told on the instant. As the word 
traveled a great happiness took possession of every one. 
When I entered the office of Secretary Daniels in response 
to a summons, tears were in his eyes, and his first words 
were, "What a Fourth-of-July present for the people!" 

As a matter of course, the press clamored for the details 
of the submarine attack and I urged the verbatim release 
of the cable received from Admiral Gleaves. The high 
admirals flatly refused permission, informing me that it 



was the immemorial policy of the navy, in time of war, 
not to employ the language of a message coming in code, 
as it would acquaint the enemy with the cipher. Moreover, 
the Gleaves cable gave the names of the ships, set down 
latitude and longitude, and furnished other information of 
equal value to the enemy. 

Because of these considerations, it was then determined 
to issue the information in the form of a statement to the 
people from the Secretary of the Navy. Out of his relief, 
his pride and joy, Mr. Daniels gave me his ideas as to the 
subject-matter, naval experts checking from the Gleaves 
cable, and the statement was written then and there. 
With every correspondent in Washington panting for the 
release, and with wires cleared for the sending, there was 
not time for word-picking and word-shading, even had the 
emotions of the moment not precluded all thought of 
"style" and meticulous phrasing. Every care was taken 
to set down the facts, but the spirit of thanksgiving that 
flooded every heart insensibly took charge of phraseology. 
This was the statement that went to the press within one 
hour from the time of the original announcement: 


[From the Committee on Public Information. For immediate 

July 3, 1917. 

The Navy Department at five o'clock this afternoon received 
word of the safe arrival at a French port of the last contingent 
of General Pershing's expeditionary force. Announcement was 
made instantly, and at the same time the information was re- 
leased that the transports were twice attacked by submarines 
on the way across. 

No ship was hit, not an American life was lost, and while the 
navy gunners report the sinking of one submarine only, there is 
reason to believe that others were destroyed in the first night 





It is with the joy of a great relief that I announce to the people 
of the United States the safe arrival in France of every fighting- 
man and every fighting-ship. 

Now that the last vessel has reached port it is safe to disclose 
the dangers that were encountered and to tell the complete story 
of peril and courage. 

The transports bearing our troops were twice attacked by 
German submarines on the way across. On both occasions the 
U-boats were beaten off with every appearance of loss. One 
certainly was sunk, and there is reason to believe that the 
accurate fire of our gunners sent others to the bottom. 

For purposes of convenience, the expedition was divided into 
contingents, each contingent including troop-ships and a naval 
escort designed to keep off such German raiders as might be met. 

An ocean rendezvous had also been arranged with the American 
destroyers now operating in European waters, in order that the 
passage of the danger zone might be attended by every possible 

The first attack took place at 10.30 on the night of June 22d. 
What gives it peculiar and disturbing significance is that our 
ships were set upon at a point well this side of the rendezvous, 
and in that part of the Atlantic presumably free from submarines. 

The attack was made in force, although the night made im- 
possible any exact count of the U-boats gathered for what they 
deemed a slaughter. 

The high-seas convoy, circling with their search-lights, 
answered with heavy gun-fire, and its accuracy stands proved 
by the fact that the torpedo discharge became increasingly 
scattered and inaccurate. It is not known how many torpedoes 
were launched, but five were counted as they sped by bow and 

A second attack was launched a few days later against another 
contingent. The point of assault was beyond the rendezvous 
and our destroyers were sailing as a screen between the transports 
and all harm. The results of the battle were in favor of American 

Not alone did the destroyers hold the U-boats at a safe dis- 
tance, but their speed also resulted in the sinking of one sub- 
marine at least. Grenades were used in firing, a depth-charge 



explosive timed to go off at a certain distance under water. In 
one instance oil and wreckage covered the surface of the sea 
after a shot from a destroyer at a periscope, and the reports 
make claim of sinking. 

Protected by our high-seas convoy, by our destroyers, and by 
French war-vessels, the contingent proceeded and joined the 
others in a French port. 

The whole nation will rejoice that so great a peril is past for 
the vanguard of the men who will fight our battles in France. 
No more thrilling Fourth-of-July celebration could have been 
arranged than this glad news that lifts the shadow of dread from 
the heart of America. 

A wave of joyful enthusiasm swept the nation. Every 
newspaper in the land carried the statement in full, and 
not even the partizan press, always so eager to criticize, 
had a word to say about "bombast" or "flamboyancy." 
For the moment, at least, the meannesses of prejudice 
were subordinated to the exaltations of patriotism. 

Three days later Mr. Melville Stone, of the Associated 
Press, received a despatch from his London correspondent 
stating that officers at the American flotilla base in Eng- 
lish waters had declared that the transports were not at- 
tacked by submarines at all, and that it was more than 
likely that the supposed U-boats were merely floating 
spars or blackfish. Mr. Stone telephoned the Secretary 
of the Navy from New York and Mr. Daniels gained the 
impression that a representative of the Associated Press 
would call upon him with the despatch before its release. 
When the Washington correspondent came, however, the 
Secretary was astounded to learn that the London cable 
had already been put on the wires and that the visit had 
no greater purpose than to find out "if he had anything to 
say." Mr. Daniels pointed out that the despatch was ab- 
solutely anonymous in that it did not give the name of a 
single American officer responsible for the slander, and de- 
clared his sense of outrage that the comment of unknown 



persons, far from the scene of the incident, should be 
matched against the report of an admiral of the navy. 
As a result the Associated Press sent out a "kill," but with 
such a start the story could not be caught. 

The partizan press leaped forward instantly in eager 
acceptance of the truth of the anonymous cable, and even 
friendly papers, unwilling to lose a "good story," joined in 
the hue and cry. The Secretary of the Navy was besieged 
by correspondents demanding the original cable from Ad- 
miral Gleaves, and when he refused for the very same rea- 
sons that had prevented publication in the beginning, a 
great shout arose that the whole occurrence had been 
nothing more than a "Fourth of July hoax." Then, and 
only then, did every solemn editorial ass discover that the 
statement was "lurid" and "bombastic." 

A reporter of The Tribune called at my office the fol- 
lowing afternoon on some personal matter, and while we 
were discussing it several other correspondents came into 
the room. The submarine controversy came up, and I 
told them, naturally enough, that I had no comments to 
make whatsoever, as any statement must properly come 
from the Secretary of the Navy. In the course of what I 
conceived to be personal conversation I tried to explain 
the point of view of the admirals, citing the importance of 
the navy code, the value to the enemy of the information 
as to longitude and latitude, and remarked also that a 
navy cable would have small news value, anyway, inas- 
much as its technical wording made it cryptic to civilians. 

One of the men then sneered something about "elabo- 
ration," and I answered that the veriest fool could see that 
the release did not purport to be the Gleaves cable, but was 
openly and frankly a statement of the Secretary of the 
Navy based upon the facts contained in the cable. I 
should have been conscious of the possibility of distortion, 
but aside from the fact that I did not consider it an inter- 



view, the savage contempt that filled my heart left little 
room for other considerations. The men standing before 
me, every one husky, healthy, and within the military age, 
were holding down their peace-time jobs, while others 
sailed across the sea to offer their lives on the altar of 
American ideals. Surely the least that they could do was 
to think in terms of helpfulness, yet there they were, 
fairly quivering with eagerness to attack, to decry, and to 

The two words, "cryptic" and "elaboration," were 
fatal. Although only the three or four reporters saw me, 
virtually every paper carried a story the following day in 
which I was actually quoted as having admitted that the 
Gleaves cable was "cryptic" and that I "elaborated" it 
in the sense of supplying facts and details out of my own 
fancy. Senator Penrose, an ancient enemy, rose joyfully 
to take advantage of the opportunity for a display of 
scurvy partizanship. His resolution not only called for 
an investigation of the "Fourth of July fake," but for an 
inquiry into every act and activity of the Committee. 
Reed, Watson, Johnson, and other Senators with old angers 
to satisfy, joined in the attack and the press came in as 

What gave a touch of malignancy to the whole affair 
was that reports fully corroborating Secretary Daniels's 
statement were regularly pouring in from independent 
sources. As early as July 7th The New York Times carried 
an account of the attack on the transports, written by its 
Paris correspondent. The New York World a few days 
later printed an interview with "the captain of an Amer- 
ican ship " telling of the encounters and quoting him to the 
effect that "almost every vessel in the convoy was fired 
at by the U-boats, but American gunners proved too 
quick for the Germans." The correspondent of The Phila- 
delphia Public Ledger cabled a graphic story of submarine 



attack, claiming the destruction of one U-boat, and in 
a score of metropolitan dailies appeared interviews with 
sailors, hospital apprentices, officers, etc., all thrilling in 
their description of the sea battle. On July 20th The 
New York Tribune, a paper most horrified by our "fake," 
published a letter received from a private in France in 
which these statements were made: 

The Dutch must have known we were coming, because they 
took their first crack at night, before the destroyers joined up 
with the fleet. It was about eleven o'clock and dark, but there 
was some phosphorus in the water and it was easy to see the 
bubbles from the torpedoes. The "subs" took two shots at one 
transport. They didn't miss her much. The "subs" got busy 
and shot at five other boats. They missed them all, but it was 
close squeaking all right. It was sort of bad that night because 
the destroyers didn't meet up with the fleet until the morning. 
They put a smoke screen around the transports and went out 
after the "subs." One of our ships got one spotted close and 
nailed her after she dodged. That was pretty neat. She 
nailed her Vay down under the water. We got the "sub" all 
right. There was more than oil came up. 

Most delightful contribution of all was this report that 
the Associated Press itself sent out: 

HALIFAX, N. S., July 25th. British sailors arriving here to-day, 
who claim to have been among crews of vessels in the vicinity 
of the transports which conveyed the first American troops to 
France, say they were credibly informed that German sub- 
marines made a concentrated attack and were beaten off, with 
a loss of six U-boats, only one submarine escaping. 

The sailors said they were within three miles of the transports 
and witnessed heavy and continuous fire. The men were on 
three former Dutch vessels which had been taken over by the 
British government and were on their way to Europe. 

The very papers, however, that carried sensational 
and even lurid accounts of the battle in their news 



columns at the very same time thundered editorially 
against the "Fourth of July hoax" and gravely con- 
demned me for what they were pleased to term my 
" flamboyancies." 

All the while we were awaiting the return of Admiral 
Gleaves in order to receive the full report that it was his 
duty to file with the Commander-in-Chief of the fleet. 
In the mean time, just as the newspaper attack was abat- 
ing, Senator Penrose called up his resolution and for a 
day the Chamber rang to a bitter debate. In his most 
brazen manner, Penrose declared that the American public 
had been "regaled on the Fourth of July with the bom- 
bastic account of a battle which never occurred, and re- 
lating to a squadron which crossed the ocean in placid 
seas and arrived on the other side without an important 

Senator Swanson of Virginia openly charged dishonest 
purpose. Senator Penrose, he said, had been informed by 
the Navy Department that every one of the documents 
in the case was at his disposal, including the original cable 
from Admiral Gleaves, and his flat refusal to avail himself 
of the offers proved that he had no interest in facts. Sena- 
tor James of Kentucky talked plainly of "copperheadism" 
and coined a new word when he substituted "Penrosing" 
for "sniping." Nothing came of the resolution because it 
was never meant that anything should come of it. Hav- 
ing hurled his insults and launched his charges, nothing 
was farther from the Penrose mind than that there 
should be any hearing at which his assertions might be 

At last, however, after what seemed an interminable 
delay, the report of Admiral Gleaves came to hand, and 
not only did it bear out the original statement in every 
degree, but went beyond it. I submit a verbatim copy of 
the document : 




, France, July 12, 1917. 

From: Commander, Destroyer Force. 
To: Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet. 

Subject: Attacks on convoy by submarines on the nights of 
June 22d, June 26th, and June 28th, 1917. 

1. About 10.15 P.M., June 22d, the first group of the expedi- 
tionary force of which the flagship was the leader, encountered 
the enemy's submarine in latitude ., longitude W. 

2. At the time it was extremely dark, the sea unusually 
phosphorescent; a fresh breeze was blowing from the north- 
west which broke the sea into whitecaps. The condition was ideal 
for a submarine attack. 

3. (Paragraph 3 gives the formation and names of the vessels, 
together with the speed they were making and method of pro- 
ceeding; nothing else. It is therefore omitted for obvious reasons.) 

4. Shortly before the attack the helm of the flagship had 
jammed, and the ship took a rank sheer to starboard; the whistle 
was blown to indicate this sheer. In a few minutes the ship 
was brought back to the course. At this time the officer of the 
deck and others on the bridge saw a white streak about 50 yards 
ahead of the ship, crossing from starboard to port, at right angles 
to our course. The ship was immediately run off 90 to star- 
board at full speed. I was asleep in the chart-house at the time. 
I heard the officer of the deck say, "Report to the admiral a 
torpedo has just crossed our bow." General alarm was sounded, 
torpedo crews being already at their guns. When I reached the 
bridge the A and one of the transports astern had opened fire, 
the former's shell fitted with tracers. Other vessels of the convoy 
turned to the right and left, in accordance with instructions. 
B crossed our bow at full speed and turned toward the left column 
in the direction of the firing. 

5. At first it was thought on board the flagship that the wake 
was that of a torpedo, but from subsequent reports from other 
ships and in the opinion of Lieut. X, who was on the bridge, it 
was probably the wake of the submarine boat itself. Two tor- 
pedoes passed close to the A from port to starboard, one about 

4 37 


30 yards ahead of the ship and the other under her stern, as the 
ship was turning to the northward. Capt. Y reports the incident 

" Steaming in formation on zigzag courses, with base course 75 
p. s. c., standard speed. At 10.25 sighted wake of a torpedo 
directly across our bow about 30 yards ahead of the ship. Changed 
course 90 to left and went to torpedo-defense stations. Fired 
two 1-pounder shots and one 5-inch shot from port battery in 
alarm in addition to six blasts from siren. Passed through two 
wakes, one being that from the U. S. S. C. in turning to north- 
ward, the other believed to have been from the passing sub- 
marine. A second torpedo wake was reported at about 10.35 
from after lookouts. After steaming in various courses at full 
speed, resumed course 89 p. s. c. at 11.10 for rendezvous. At 
12 set course 56 p. s. c. ." 

6. The torpedo fired at the D passed from starboard to port, 
about 40 yards ahead of the ship, leaving a distinct wake which 
was visible for about four or five hundred yards. Col. Z, United 
States Army, was on the starboard wing of the bridge of the D 
at the time and states: "I first saw a white streak in the water 
just off the starboard bow, which moved rapidly across the bow 
very close aboard. When I first saw it, it looked like one very 
wide wake and similar to the wake of a ship, but after crossing 
the bow and when in line with it there appeared two distinct and 
separate wakes, with a streak of blue water between. In my 
opinion they were the wakes of two torpedoes." 

7. The submarine, which was sighted by the flagship, was 
seen by the B and passed under that ship. The E went to quar- 
ters. When the alarm was sounded in the E, Lieut. W was 
roused out of his sleep, and went to his station and found un- 
mistakable evidence of the presence of a submarine. He had 
been there only a few seconds when the radio operator reported, 
"Submarine very close to us." As the submarine passed the E 
and the flagship's bow and disappeared close aboard on our port 
bow, between the columns, it was followed by the E, which ran 
down between the columns, and when the latter resumed her 
station she reported that there were strong indications of the 
presence of two submarines astern, which were growing fainter. 
The E was then sent to guard the rear of the convoy. 

8. When I was in Paris I was shown by the United States 
naval attache* a confidential official bulletin of information 



issued by the General Staff, dated July 6th, which contained the 
following : 

"Punta Delgada, Azores, was bombarded at 9 A.M., July 4th. 
This is undoubtedly the submarine which attacked the E on 
June 25th, 400 miles north of the Azores, and sank the F and G 
on the 29th of June, 100 miles from Terceira (Azores). This 
submarine was ordered to watch in the vicinity of the Azores 
at such a distance as it was supposed the enemy American convoy 
would pass from the Azores." 

9. It appears from the French report just quoted above, and 
from the location of the attack, that enemy submarines had been 
notified of our approach and were probably scouting across our 
route. It is possible that they may have trailed us all day on 
June 22d, as our speed was well within their limits of surface 
speed, and they could have easily trailed our smoke under the 
weather conditions without being seen; their failure to' score 
hits was probably due to the attack being precipitated by the 
fortuitous circumstances of the flagship's helm jamming and the 
sounding of her whistle, leading enemy to suppose he had been 

10. The H, leading the second group, encountered two sub- 
marines, the first about 11.50 A.M., June 26, 1917, in latitude 

N., longitude W., about a hundred miles off the coast of 

France, and the second two hours later. The I investigated the 
wake of the first without further discovery. The J sighted the 
bow wave of the second at a distance of 1,500 yards and headed 
for it at a speed of 25 knots. The gun-pointers at the forward 
gun saw the periscope several times for several seconds, but it 
disappeared each time before they could get on, due to the zig- 
zagging of the ship. The J passed about 25 yards ahead of a 
mass of bubbles which were coming up from the wake and let 
go a depth charge just ahead. Several pieces of timber, quan- 
tities of oil, bubbles, and debris came to the surface. Nothing 
more was seen of the submarine. The attacks on the second 
group occurred about 800 miles to the eastward of where the 
attacks had been made on the first group. 

11. The voyage of the third group was uneventful. 

12. In the forenoon of June 28th, when in latitude N., 

longitude - - W., the K opened fire on an object about 300 
yards distant which he thought was a submarine. The com- 
mander of the group, however, did not concur in this opinion, 


but the reports subsequently received from the commanding 
officer of the K and Lieut. V are too circumstantial to permit 
the incident from being ignored. The commanding officer 
states : 

" (b) The only unusual incident of the trip worth mentioning 
was on the 28th day of June, about 10.05 A.M., the lookouts 
reported something right ahead of the K. (I had the bridge at 
the time.) When I looked I saw what appeared to be a very 
small object on the water's surface, about a foot or two high, 
which left a small wake; on looking closer and with the aid of 
binoculars I could make out a shape under the water about 250 
to 300 yards ahead and which was too large to be a blackfish, 
lying in a position about 15 degrees diagonally across the K's 

" (b-1) I ordered the port-bow gun to open fire on the spot in 
the water and sounded warning siren for convoy. When judging 
that ship had arrived above the spot first seen I ordered right 
rudder in order to leave the submarine astern. 

"(&-#) A minute or two later the port after gun's crew re- 
ported sighting a submarine on port quarter and opened fire at 
the same time. The lookouts from the top also reported seeing 
the submarine under the water's surface and about where the 
shots were landing. 

"(b-3) The ship kept zigzagging and firing from after guns 
every time something was sighted. 

"(b-4) Lieut. V, United States Navy, was in personal charge 
of the firing and reports that he saw, with all the gun crews and 
lookouts aft, the submarine fire two torpedoes toward the direc- 
tion of the convoy, which sheered off from base course to right 90 
when alarm was sounded. 

" (b-5) All the officers and men aft had observed the torpedoes 
traveling through the water and cheered loudly when they saw 
a torpedo miss a transport. They are not certain, though, which 
one it was, as the ships were not in line then and more or less 

"(6-0) The gunnery officer and all the men, who were aft at 
the firing, are certain that they saw the submarine and the tor- 
pedoes fired by same. 

" (6-7) A separate report of Lieut. V, United States Navy, the 
gunnery officer, is herewith appended. 

"(6-5) The K kept zigzagging until it was considered that 



danger was past, and in due time joined the escorts and convoy, 
formed column astern. 

"(6-9) Report by signal was made to group commander of 
sighting submarines and torpedoes." 

13. (Paragraph 13 deals exclusively with a recommendation 
as to the best methods to be employed in the future for the 
purpose of saving life. It is plain this ought not to be made 

14. Copies of reports of commanding officer's flagship, A, D, 
and H, are inclosed; also copy of report of Lieut. V, of the K. 


Here at last was the ultimate word, the complete story, 
the conclusive proof. The Secretary of the Navy had not 
lied, the first joy and enthusiasms of the people were not 
unjustified. Even though a month of lying had worked 
grave injury to American morale, it seemed a certainty 
that the publication of the report would remedy the evil 
in great degree. What happened? The Senate ignored the 
report, and the press, almost without exception, chopped 
it to pieces and printed it, obscurely, as the "last chapter 
in an unfortunate incident." 

I had no intention of letting the matter rest, however, 
and under my insistence a request was made upon Admiral 
Sims to investigate the sending of the Associated Press 
despatch that started the whole train of calumny. In due 
time the following report was received: 

3 August, 1917. 

From: Commander J. R. P. Pringle, U. S. Navy. 

To: Commander, U. S. Naval Forces Operating in European 

Subject: Cablegram OpNav. 49. 

1 . Upon receipt and after consideration of the above-mentioned 
cable forwarded from your office in London, I decided that the 
matter was one which would have to be brought to the attention 
of the Commander-in-Chief, Queenstown, since the sending of 
the despatch referred to in OpNav. 49 had not been authorized 



by me and, as a consequence, if authorized at all, could only 
have been authorized by competent British authority. 

2. I accordingly requested an interview with the Commander- 
in-Chief and also permission to bring with me Mr. Frank America, 
the Associated Press Correspondent at Queenstown. At 10.30 
A.M. to-day I went, in company with Mr. America, to the Com- 
mander-in-Chief s office and found Lieutenant-Commander 
Olebar, R. N., the British Naval Censor for Queenstown also 

3. The Commander-in-Chief read the cablegram (OpNav. 
49) and then interrogated Mr. America, who stated in substance 
as follows: That he had received a wire from the London office 
of the Associated Press stating that certain information had been 
given out by the Secretary of the Navy, and asking if there was 
a Queenstown end to the story. That he had received shortly 
afterward a second wire from the same source telling him that a 
"follow up" story was desired. That he got into communication 
with Commander Pringle and asked permission to write a 
"follow up" story. That Commander Pringle refused to allow 
him to do so as the Censorship Regulations would not permit 
of its being done, and that Commander Pringle refused to enter 
into any further discussion of the subject. That he sent to 
the London office of the Associated Press a wire intended for 
the private information of his superiors in that office and not 
intended for publication, and that since the wire was "private" 
he did not consider it necessary to submit it to censorship by 
either the British authorities or myself, and accordingly did not 
submit it. That the information contained in this wire was 
substantially as given in OpNav. 49, and represented his general 
impression formed as the result of casual conversations held with 
a couple of officers and some men. That he did not know any 
one of the officers or men, but had met them on the pier, in the 
streets, or at the hotel. 

4. About July 5th or 6th, Mr. America came on board the 
Melville to see me and showed me a wire which he had received 
from his London office which stated in substance that the Navy 
Department denied the statements contained in his (Mr. 
America's) wire, and, further, that the statement given out by 
the Secretary of the Navy was based upon official reports made 
by Rear- Admiral Gleaves. This was the first intimation that I 
had of Mr. America's having sent his wire, and, as Mr. America 



seemed to wish to renew his efforts to get me to discuss the 
subject, I sent for the Executive Officer of the Melville, Lieut.- 
Commander Arwine, and, in his presence, informed Mr. America 
that I had declined to permit him to send any communication 
on the subject in question; that it would be entirely improper 
for me to discuss statements which had been issued by the Sec- 
retary of the Navy, and that, once again, I declined to do so. 

5. In accordance with your verbal instructions, I had an 
interview with Mr. America shortly after your departure from 
Queenstown and informed him that he should come to me for 
information; that I would always give him such items as it was 
possible to give without violating the Censorship Rules, and 
that what news he got from me would be accurate. It was, 
therefore, entirely proper for him to have come to me for per- 
mission to write the "follow up" story requested. 

6. The above is a recital of the facts in the case so far as I 
am able to ascertain them. 

7. As a matter of opinion, it appears to me that, so far as 
the publication of his despatch is concerned, Mr. America is 
more sinned against than sinning, if the ordinary procedure 
regarding the publication of despatches received by the Central 
Office from correspondents is as stated by him. He felt that 
his despatch would not be published, and it seems to me that, 
if he was justified in his belief, his superiors in London have put 
him in a very embarrassing position. 

8. With regard to any criticism either express or implied of 
statements given to the press by the Secretary of the Navy, I 
doubt very much whether any of the persons from whom Mr. 
America got his information were aware of the fact that the 
Secretary had given out a statement. There is a general tendency 
among officers and men of the Force to attribute many cases 
of supposed torpedo attack to the sighting of blackfish or por- 
poise, while spars are sometimes mistaken for periscopes, and 
any statements made are much more likely to have been intended 
to express a belief that the reports were exaggerated at the 
source than to express anything else. 


Forwarded, approved. 


What a record! 



The word of an admiral of the navy, the authorized 
statement of the Secretary of the Navy, set aside and pub- 
licly shamed on the authority of men "met on the docks, 
at the hotels, and in the street," and whose names were 
not even known to the correspondent! 

The message sent as private meaning that it was not 
intended for publication thereby evading the censorship! 



THE only other charges of inaccuracy against the Com- 
mittee were based upon announcements with respect 
to the progress of the aircraft program. On February 21, 
1918, we released a statement from the Secretary o War 
in which this assertion was made: "The first American- 
built battle-'planes are to-day en route to the front in 
France. This first shipment, though in itself not large, 
marks the final overcoming of many difficulties met in 
building up this new and intricate industry." 

Almost immediately it developed that one 'plane only 
had been delivered for shipment to the American Expedi- 
tionary Forces, and that even this single machine was not 
yet on the water. Straightway the storm broke and the 
press vied with the Senate in denunciation of the Com- 
mittee for its "brazen attempt to deceive the public." 
Utterly ignoring the report of Admiral Gleaves, the attack 
upon the Fourth-of-July statement was revived in order 
to give keener point to my own personal disregard for 

A sure defense was at hand had we cared to use it. 
The information as to the shipment of battle-'planes did 
not originate in the Committee, but came directly from 
Col. Edward A. Deeds, the officer in virtual charge of air- 
craft production at the time. More than that, Secretary 
Baker himself had formally authorized its issuance, ac- 
cepting responsibility for its accuracy. The original copy 



was in our possession, carrying the initialed approval of 
these officials and containing certain corrections in Colonel 
Deeds's handwriting. All that was necessary to establish 
the Committee's complete innocence was to produce this 

As a matter of course, we did not take advantage of our 
position. The Secretary of War stood at the head of the 
armed forces of America, while upon the shoulders of 
Colonel Deeds, in large measure, rested the burden of the 
great aircraft program. Public confidence in them was 
more important than public confidence in the Committee, 
and if, by accepting the role of scapegoat, we were able to 
guard executives from the delays of harassment, it seemed 
a service. We made no defense, therefore, permitting 
press and partizans to continue in the assumption that the 
Committee was primarily responsible. 

The facts in the case did not come out until October 
25th, when Judge Charles E. Hughes reported the results 
of his investigation into the whole conduct of aircraft pro- 
duction. We were absolved from all responsibility, and 
one of the two counts returned against Colonel Deeds 
was that he had given "to the representatives of the 
Committee on Public Information a false and misleading 
statement with respect to the progress of aircraft produc- 
tion for the purpose of publication with the authority of 
the Secretary of War." Not a paper, nor yet a Senator, 
took sufficient cognizance of this vindication to withdraw 
their charges against the Committee, and, after a cautious 
interval, even commenced to repeat them. 

I would not have it believed, however, that we sought, 
by our course, to conceal dishonesty or to protect bad 
faith. I had then, as I have to-day, the fullest confidence 
in Colonel Deeds's honor and high purpose, and his fault, 
if it can be called that, was an amazing enthusiasm that 
persisted in discounting the possibilities of delay. At the 



time he gave the statement, machines had been shipped 
from the factory bound for France: what happened 
was that they were suddenly diverted to Gerstner Field 
to undergo further radiator tests. Out of his certainty 
that quantity production was achieved at last, and in his 
eagerness to relieve the impatiences and anxieties of the 
public, Colonel Deeds simply failed to make sure that the 
machines were safely in the hold of a ship before making 
his announcement. 

At about the same time, Colonel Deeds also gave four 
photographs to the Division of Still Pictures, a branch of 
the Committee that tried to meet the demands of the press 
for photographs taken by the Signal Corps in France and 
in those factories in the United States where private 
camera-men were not allowed. The pictures showed air- 
plane bodies and engines, and under the thrall of Colonel 
Deeds 's enthusiasm one of the young assistants in the 
division put captions on them that were admittedly flam- 
boyant and overcolored. 

This fault was freely admitted by us, and the four 
pictures were withdrawn. The services of the caption- 
writer were dispensed with, and orders given that all 
future pictures should be released with no more descriptive 
matter than the bare titles supplied by the Signal Corps. 
A Senate committee, however, continued to attack us 
because we had not attached to the pictures some such 
legend as this: "Do not be deceived, good people. These 
engines and bodies that you see before you are not battle- 

The next explosion in connection with airplane photo- 
graphs occurred in the following July. It is interesting 
as showing how painstaking hands can fashion a lie out 
of whole cloth. On the floor of the Senate one day, Reed 
of Missouri made the charge that the Committee on Public 
Information had issued a statement to the effect that 



Secretary Baker, while in France, had seen "one thousand 
American airplanes in the air." Also that the Committee, 
in order to support this false claim, had issued photographs 
of "penguins," a training-'plane that rises only a few feet 
from the ground. Further, on the word of one Woodhouse, 
editor of a flying-paper, Reed charged that the Committee 
had deliberately attempted to make it appear that these 
"penguins" were battle-'planes. 

Our investigation instantly proved the utter falsity of 
the whole rigmarole. The statement about Secretary Baker 
and the one thousand American airplanes was not a prod- 
uct of the Committee at all, but merely a story in 
the Paris Herald. As for Woodhouse, his explanation as 
to the manner in which we practised deception was followed 
by this naive remark, "I am taking this for granted and 
have nothing to base it on." 

Utterly without faith in Reed, but in order that the record 
should be kept clear, I sent him this letter, together with 
a bundle of photographs : 

July 17, 1018. 

United States Senate, 
Washington, D. C. 


In The New York Times of July 13th, under the heading, 
"Says Creel Misled Public; Reed on Assertion that Baker Saw 
1,000 American 'Planes in France," there appeared an article 
that commenced as follows: 

"Senator Reed read to the Senate to-day parts of the 
testimony of Henry Woodhouse of the Aero Club of America 
before the Senate Aircraft sub-committee to prove that 
pictures and statements sent out by the Committee on 
Public Information to prove that Secretary of War Baker, 
on his trip to France, saw 1,000 American airplanes in the 
air, were false and misleading." 

I am sure that you will be glad to know that the Woodhouse 
charges and inferences are without the slightest foundation in 



truth. Never at any time did this Committee, or any other de- 
partment of government, issue any statement to the effect that 
Mr. Baker "saw 1,000 American airplanes in France." It may 
be, as alleged, that the Paris Herald printed the statement, but, 
if so, it came through no official source and had no official 

I send you herewith copies of all aircraft photographs sent 
to us from France, together with the captions, submitting them 
as a complete answer to the charge that we issued pictures of 
non-flying machines in an attempt to make the people believe 
that they were fighting-'planes. As you can see for yourself, 
the majority of the pictures show machines high in the air, and 
in all cases of ground-machines the caption is explicit. 

These photographs were made by the Signal Corps operators 
in France, the captions were written by Signal Corps officials 
in France, and our release of them in this country is a purely 
mechanical function. 

These photographs come to us as part of regular deliveries 
from the Signal Corps in which the entire activities of the 
American Expeditionary Force are covered by the camera. No 
one branch of the service is put before another, and the inference 
that the Signal Corps in France is lending itself to a campaign 
of deceit is as untrue as it is unjust. 

Very truly, 



As a matter of course, Reed paid no attention to the 
letter. Having gained circulation for his falsehoods, there- 
by gratifying his hatred of me and his antagonism to the 
Administration, his interest ended. Nothing is so keen a 
commentary upon the honesty of this whole inimical 
Senate group as the fact that not once was I called before 
a committee, either for explanation or defense. 

To sum up then, the entire attack upon the credibility 
of the Committee on Public Information centered in these 
four charges: 

(1) Falsely informing the people that the first trans- 
ports were attacked by submarines. 



(2) Issuing a false statement as to the shipment of 
airplanes to France. 

(3) Issuing four photographs of airplane production 
designed to make the people believe that battle- 'planes 
were being produced. 

(4) Releasing a false statement that Secretary Baker 
saw one thousand airplanes in France, and supporting the 
lie by releasing pictures of ground-machines. 

The answer to the first is found in the report of Admiral 
Gleaves; the answer to the second in the report of Judge 
Hughes; the answer to the third is the misguided enthusiasm 
of a young subordinate, and the answer to the fourth is 
contained in the letter to Senator Reed. 

Consider for a moment! More than six thousand sep- 
arate and distinct news releases, each one dealing with an 
importance; some half -hundred separate and distinct 
pamphlets, brimmed with detail; seventy-five thousand 
Four Minute Men speaking nightly; other hundreds de- 
livering more extended addresses regularly; thousands of 
advertisements; countless motion and still pictures, post- 
ers and painted signs; war expositions; intimate contacts 
with twenty-three foreign-language groups; the Official 
Bulletin, appearing daily for two years; and in every 
capital of the world, outside the Central Powers, offices 
and representatives, served by daily cable and mail ser- 
vices rich in possibilities for mistake. 

All done by an organization forced to function from the 
moment of its creation, working at all times under ex- 
tremest pressure, handicapped by insufficient funds and 
harassed by partizanship. 

And only the four charges! 

The record stands unparalleled for honesty, accuracy, 
and high purpose, and in itself is an enduring testimonial 
to the sincerities of the thousands of men and women who 
made possible the accomplishments of the Committee. 



SINCE the discussion of falsehood and slander has been 
commenced, it may be well to exhaust the subject be- 
fore proceeding with the detailed story of the Committee 
and its activities. Let me make the statement, therefore, 
calmly and carefully, that domestic disloyalty, the hos- 
tility of neutrals, and the lies of the German propagandists, 
all combined, were not half so hard to combat as the 
persistent malignance of a partizan group in the Congress 
of the United States. From the very day of its creation 
to the day of its assassination, the Committee was com- 
pelled to endure an incessant fire from behind, working 
at all times under this handicap of a blind malice that had 
all the effect of treachery. 

Our case, however, was neither isolated nor peculiar. 
Of all the war- work executives in Washington, Republicans 
and Democrats alike, it is safe to say that there was not 
one who did not go to bed at night with the prayer that 
he might wake in the morning to find Congress only the 
horrible imagining of uneasy slumber. It was not that 
any one resented criticism or inquiry or feared investiga- 
tion. As a matter of fact, every man of them begged 
criticism, invited inquiry, and hoped with all his heart for 
a real investigation that would put an end to slanderous 
rumors. But Congress refused to do any of these things, 
confining itself entirely and enthusiastically to the busi- 
ness of attack. 



Washington heard many absurdities, but most absurd 
of all was the frequent bleat that the trouble was due to 
"misunderstanding," and that the quick and easy remedy 
was to "establish closer relations with Congress win their 
friendship and support by explanation." One might as 
well have babbled about establishing "closer relations" 
with a water-moccasin. Men like Penrose, Sherman, 
Watson, New, Johnson, and Longworth had no interest 
in "better understanding." Bushwhacking was their busi- 
ness. And while the Committee on Public Information 
was a favorite target, no war organization escaped their 
fire. Bernard Baruch and his associates on the W T ar In- 
dustries Board were accused of using their positions to 
get inside information for Stock Exchange deals. John 
D. Ryan was held up to shame as a man who spent air- 
craft funds to enlarge his personal profits; Clarence Woolley 
was charged with manipulating the War Trade Board for 
the benefit of the American Radiator Company; Julius 
Rosen wald was regularly dragged in mud; Vance McCor- 
mick was branded as a rascal who made thousands out of 
our dealings with Russia; Col. E. A. Deeds was continually 
accused of secret corruptions, etc. To be sure, many 
of these men were Republicans, but that did not matter. 
They were part of the war-machine, and, since this machine 
was operating under the direction of a Democratic Presi- 
dent, it had to be discredited. 

There was no way in which effective reply could be made. 
Under the provisions of our Constitution a member of 
Congress cannot be held to account for any utterance on 
the floor of the Senate or House. It is the one place in 
the whole United States in which a mouth is above the 
law, and in which there is not only free speech, but im- 
munity for speech. The heavens may fall, the earth be 
consumed, but the right of a Congressman to lie and defame 
remains inviolate. Even were this constitutional pro- 



tection lacking, conditions would be about the same. It 
is Congress that makes the appropriations with which to 
carry on the business of government the iron hand that 
holds the purse-strings. If denial of a Congressman's 
charge does manage to escape contempt proceedings, there 
is still his power to curtail or to deny requested funds. 

Strangely enough, however, Congress is not a body 
without its strong, honest men. Fully 50 per cent, of 
the membership of the House and Senate are above the 
average in ability and conscientious purpose. The trouble 
is that these men seldom figure in public print. And they 
do not figure because the press has no interest in them. 
There are to-day, and have always been, two kinds of 
news : one is concerned with the fundamental significances 
of life and is educational, vital, and interpretative, the other 
deals entirely with the satisfaction of curiosity and dies 
with the day that witnesses the events which it chronicles. 
One is truth; the other is tattle. It is this second definition 
that is accepted by the press, and as a consequence the 
Congressman who gets into print is not the worker, but 
the blatherskite; not the man concerned with service, 
but the man concerned with sensationalism. It is this 
condition that puts a premium on blackguardism and 
places public servants at the mercy of reckless attack. 

Of all the assaults made upon the Committee by Sena- 
tors and Representatives, not one was ever prefaced by 
any attempt at investigation, not one was ever followed 
through, and not once was I ever allowed to appear before 
a committee to make answer to specific accusations. 
Throughout the Fourth-of-July furor and the aircraft 
mess I was not seen by a single Congressman or allowed 
to state the facts in the case at any hearing. Charges of 
partizanship, dishonesty, and disloyalty were hurled regu- 
larly at the Committee, and when I asked to be heard I 

was told, invariably, that "the incident was closed." 
5 53 


As an instance of procedure, a Representative from 
Massachusetts named Treadway emerged from obscurity 
one day by charging that the soldiers of the American 
Expeditionary Force were not able to get letters because 
the "Creel Committee filled the mails to France with tons 
of pamphlets." Others joined in the attack and the result 
was a resolution calling upon the Postmaster-General to 
report the amount of matter sent to the American soldiers 
abroad by the Committee on Public Information. Mr. 
Burleson, naturally enough, was not able to find any 
records on the subject, inasmuch as the Committee had never 
sent a single pamphlet of any kind to any member of the 
American Expeditionary Force. In order to make assur- 
ance doubly sure, he asked me for specific information, 
and in my letter of reply I finished by saying that Mr. 
Treadway had made "an assertion the absolute baseless- 
ness of which could have been ascertained by telephone 

Because of this paragraph the House declined to receive 
the report. At a time when the war hung in the balance 
virtually a day was wasted on this absurd debate and then 
the report was referred to a special committee to decide 
whether or not I should be brought before the bar of the 
House on a contempt charge. To the very last, Mr. 
Treadway insisted that he could "produce evidence in 
this House that there have been placed in the hands of 
the soldiers abroad tons of the Creel reports." There the 
matter dropped. The special committee never reported, 
Mr. Treadway never produced any such evidence, nor was 
I given the chance to face him. 

Representative Fordney, a perfect type of a partizan, 
rose in the House one day and made the flat charge that I 
was issuing pamphlets in support of Free Trade and other 
Democratic heresies. The one specific instance he cited 
was a pamphlet by a writer named Burt Etheridge Barlow. 



The attack was vicious, and after it had continued for 
quite a while another Congressman managed to obtain 
a copy of the pamphlet and this dialogue ensued: 

MR. GANDY. I just wanted to know if the gentleman meant 
to leave the inference by the statement he made that the publi- 
cation he referred to, which I have in my hand, was a government 

MR. FORDNEY. I think so. 

MR. GANDY. Will the gentleman look at it. 

MR. FORDNEY. I think it was sent out by George Creel. 
There is a slip pasted on the first page, headed, "Committee 
on Public Information, George Creel, chairman"; and I think 
undoubtedly George Creel induced Burt Etheridge Barlow to 
write the article. 

MR. GANDY. If the gentleman will look at that statement he 
will find that it is simply a statement by Mr. Creel that that 
publication has passed the military censor. It is not a govern- 
ment publication and does not purport to be a government 
document, and it is not sent out by the Committee on Public 

MR. FORDNEY. You cannot make me believe that George 
Creel can send that out broadcast without it costing the govern- 
ment some money. 

I wrote a letter to Mr. Fordney at once stating that 
not only had the Committee never sent out one single copy 
of the pamphlet, but was without other knowledge of its 
existence than the mechanical act of returning it to the 
author after his submission of it to the Division of Military 
Intelligence out of an over-scrupulous desire not to print 
anything that might reveal military information. Mr. 
Fordney refused to retract his falsehoods and continued 
them at every opportunity. 

Another Congressman, Knutson of Minnesota, charged 
that the pamphlets issued by the Committee were Demo- 
cratic doctrines from cover to cover. These pamphlets, 
prepared by American historians of the highest standing, 



were not only going into every home in the United States, 
but were being circulated by the hundreds of thousands 
in neutral countries. A work of fundamental importance, 
yet this petty malignant did not scruple to attempt its 
discredit and destruction. And they shoot a soldier for a 
passive act like sleeping at his post! 

Our motion-picture activities were a constant source of 
attack. Any "movie" man angered by our refusal to give 
him special privileges for money-making could slip up 
to Congress in full confidence that his lies would be shouted 
from the floor. The usual procedure was the making of 
the charge, the introduction of a resolution, and then 
futile efforts on my part to get a hearing. Once when I 
had secured permission to testify before the House Com- 
mittee on Military Affairs, the chairman immediately gave 
out a statement that I had "refused to appear," and when 
I duly presented myself the committee declined to hear 
me on the usual "closed incident" grounds. This method 
permitted free circulation of lies even while it denied me 
the right of answer. 

A chief offense of the Committee was its attitude in 
regard to "atrocity stories." From the very first we held 
that unprovable accounts of "horrors" were bound to 
result in undesirable reactions, for if the Germans could 
manage to refute one single charge, they would straightway 
use it to discredit our entire indictment. This view was 
shared by the War Department, and once on the authority 
of General Pershing, and a second time by direction of 
General March, we issued denials of gross exaggeration. 
Senator Poindexter, who made up in voice what he other- 
wise lacked, was the "atrocity expert of Congress," and 
because of these denials he charged the Committee with 
the circulation of German propaganda and devoted much 
of his time to a direct attempt to discredit our work. 
We sent him two of our pamphlets, German War Practices 


and German Treatment of Conquered Territory, perhaps the 
most terrible indictment ever framed against a nation, 
and explained to him that these established facts were 
preferable to baseless rumors, but it changed his malice 
in no degree. 

In the Senate, however, most of my trouble came from 
enmities of long standing. The persistent attacks of John- 
son of California and Reed of Missouri were in no sense 
due to what the Committee did or did not do, but were 
absolutely and entirely personal. Back in 1913 I wrote 
an article for Everybody's Magazine in which I tried to 
give a fair and dispassionate study of Johnson as a presi- 
dential candidate. It was not a flattering estimate and the 
abnormal vanity of the man never forgave it. The Johnson 
wattles swelled and reddened to a state of chronic inflam- 
mation as far as I was concerned, and my assumption of 
public office gave him the chance for which he had been 
waiting. As for Reed, I had known the fellow from the 
start of his career, and during the ten years in which I 
lived and wrote in Kansas City there was not a week in 
which I did not try to hold him up to the contempt and 
ridicule that were deserved by his character and abilities. 

Another ancient foe was "Jim" Watson of Indiana. 
At various times in my writings I had voiced the opinion 
that the "Mulhall exposures" should have retired Wat- 
son from public life. His anger, coupled with malig- 
nant partizanship, made him at all times an unscru- 
pulous enemy. Reed and Johnson contented themselves 
with daily abuse, but Watson was more thorough. One 
of his dignified activities was to send to Denver for a 
thorough investigation of my "past." Unfortunately, 
however, his agents in Colorado were not able to develop 
anything that shamed my character or general reputation, 
and were forced to rely entirely upon editorials that I 
had written in The Rocky Mountain News between 1912 



and 1914. At that time I was supporting certain initiated 
measures that gave us the right to recall officials, including 
judges, and the phraseology in many cases reflected the 
heat of a bitter campaign. 

In the midst of an important debate Senator Watson 
wasted hours of time by reading these editorials, written 
seven years before, and, what was worse, he did not scruple 
to separate passages from the context in order to produce 
false impressions. For instance, he recited certain charges 
in which I was made to appear as having alleged a dia- 
bolical conspiracy between the Supreme Court, President 
Taft, and the Vatican in order to sway and deliver the 
Catholic vote. As a matter of fact, the charges were not 
made by me, but by others, and I recited them merely 
in order to disapprove them. What he did, maliciously and 
dishonestly, was to put the charges in my mouth, carefully 
omitting the disproof. 

Senator Sherman of Illinois charged on the floor that 
I had given a monopoly of war films to one moving-picture 
concern, and others accused me repeatedly of having 
turned over valuable motion-picture rights to Hearst. I 
spent two days trying to get before some committee to 
answer these plain, downright lies, but failed absolutely 
in the attempt. This, however, was about the only specific 
attack that ever came from Senator Sherman. As a rule, 
he confined himself to billingsgate directed against me 
personally, devoting whole days to speeches in which he 
characterized me as a "toad-eater," a swollen "rake hell," 
and other gentlemanly epithets. As a matter of fact, 
Sherman always aroused pity in me rather than anger. 
We were in the middle of a great war, with civilization 
hanging in the balance, and here was the Senator from a 
great state without ability to make any other contribution 
to the national service than dreary maunderings. 

In open debate, Senator Penrose made the specific 



charge that the Committee on Public Information, after 
establishing certain rules of censorship, "shocked and sur- 
prised the censorship authorities" by its own violations 
of the rules. He cited the case of a despatch filed by the 
manager of the Central News in New York which was 
stopped by the censors until they learned that the in- 
formation came from the Committee. Of his own volition, 
Mr. Edward Rascovar, president of the Central News, 
wrote a letter to The New York Times in which he said 
that "no such story was ever filed," and Captain Todd, 
head of the Naval Censorship, also branded the Penrose 
charge as absolute fiction. Penrose kept insisting that he 
"had the proof," but we were never able to make. him 
produce it. 

Senator Lodge, in the course of a tirade, made this state- 
ment: "The question before us is that of Mr. Creel, a 
man to whom Congress refused to give power. The office 
he holds is created under the one-hundred-million-dollar 
fund given to the President for the general defense of the 
country. Mr. Creel, apparently, is part of the general 
defense of the country, and the little government publica- 
tion which he is publishing, and the scores of people whom 
I am told he has employed to do what might be done by 
a stenographer and a couple of clerks, are being paid for 
out of that fund." 

Either he was premeditatedly untruthful or else incredibly 
ignorant, for at the time the Committee's foreign activities 
were well known, its pamphlets were in circulation by the 
millions, the Four Minute Men were already famous, our 
motion pictures filled the theaters, and every Washington 
correspondent was receiving the official news from our 
office. I was always inclined to give Senator Lodge the 
benefit of the doubt, crediting him with ignorance rather 
than dishonesty. As some one once said, the Lodge mind 
was like the soil of New England highly cultivated, but 



naturally sterile. An exceedingly dull man and a very 
vain one deadly combination his vanity fosters his igno- 
rance by persistent refusal to confess it. More than any 
other Senator he has the conviction of omniscience, and 
his solemn expression and conservative whiskers persuade 
many people to accept him at his own valuation. 

This "sniping" kept up steadily throughout the first 
year of the Committee's existence, each day bringing new 
charges and fresh abuse. Congressmen refused to see me 
and I could not get an opportunity to see Congress. We 
made attempt after attempt to establish a basis of under- 
standing, if not friendship, for it was not only that the 
continual sharpshooting interfered with the workers, but 
it hurt the work itself. In virtually every foreign country 
we were preaching the gospel of an honest, idealistic 
America, and the task was difficult enough without having 
German propagandists quoting American Senators to the 
effect that the Committee on Public Information was a 
"pack of liars." And then in May, 1918, there came the 
explosion that brought things to a climax. 

After a speech at the Church of the Ascension in New 
York, I yielded to the custom of Doctor Grant's forum and 
submitted to questions. The majority of the audience 
were "radicals," out of sympathy with the war, and their 
rapid-fire interrogations had the spat of bullets. At the 
end of an hour, when the questions were getting fewer 
and weaker, and when fatigue had robbed me of mental 
quickness, some fool asked what I thought about the "heart 
of Congress." A titter swept the crowd, and because the 
absurdity was so plain, I made the quick and thoughtless 
answer that "I had not been slumming for years." The 
moment the words left my mouth I could have bitten my 
tongue out, but I did not dare to give the incident point 
by attempting any withdrawal. It was one of those arrant, 
incredible stupidities for which there is no excuse. I sup- 


pose that the mention of Congress evoked instant thought 
of Reed, Penrose, Watson, Longworth, and others of their 
kind, and that the retort slipped out before my tired mind 
could call a halt. 

As a matter of course, the morning papers ignored the 
carefully prepared speech of an hour, and made no com- 
ment upon the second hour of serious questioning, but put 
entire emphasis upon the "slumming" remark. My en- 
emies in the House and Senate rallied with a cry of joy, 
and the dictionary was brought into play to prove that 
I had accused Congressmen of being "poor, dirty, degraded, 
and often vicious." The hatreds and accusations of the 
whole past year were resurrected, the inevitable Treadway 
introduced a resolution to institute contempt proceedings 
and the clamor rose high above the noise of the war itself. 
My one decent, honorable course was an open apology, 
for nothing had been farther from my thought than in- 
sult or defiance. My soul ached to make the flat statement 
that I was not referring to Congress as a whole, but had 
only Reed, Penrose, Watson, et al., in mind. I swallowed 
the impulse, however, and wrote as follows to Mr. Edward 
W. Pou, chairman of the House Rules Committee: 

May 11, 1918. 

While the Rules Committee has not yet indicated any course 
of action with respect to the resolution of Mr. Treadway, I 
cannot permit myself to remain under the imputation of having 
passed public and insulting criticism upon the Congress of the 
United States. 

My estimate of your honorable body is expressed in the 
pamphlet issued by the Committee on Public Information in 
October, 1917, under the title, First Session of the War Con- 
gress. So remarkable did the record of achievement appear 
to me that I had it summarized for general distribution, and 
in the signed preface I tried to bear testimony to the courage 
and patriotism of the men behind the record. 



Even were it not the case that I am so committed by the 
frank and uncompelled expression of an honest conviction, I 
beg you to believe that I am not so lost to the proprieties as to 
indulge in attack upon the legislative branch while I myself am 
in the service of the government. 

At a time like this I would take shame to myself if I attempted 
to weaken in any degree the public confidence in any public 
body, much less the great legislative body of our nation. 

At the Church of the Ascension, I had spoken for an hour, 
and for more than an hour answered questions bearing upon 
every phase of public misunderstanding. The question under 
discussion seemed so utterly silly, and its silliness was so well 
understood by the audience, that I made a quick and thoughtless 
answer that lent itself to exaggeration and distortion. I admit 
the indiscretion and regret it deeply. 

I have given my thought so wholly to the service of this war 
that I have, perhaps, been careless in the matter of guarding 
every word of my utterances against the possibility of miscon- 
struction. But I have the feeling that sincere men see down to 
the heart of intent and will appreciate my desire at all times 
to avoid anything that might create the dissension and con- 
fusion so dangerous to our necessary unity. 

Please let me take this opportunity to assure you of my willing- 
ness at all times to co-ordinate the work of the Committee with 
the wish and thought of Congress. What we have done and are 
doing is always open to the inspection of the individual member 
or committee, and I cannot but feel that our task here would be 
wisely strengthened by more intimate contact and co-operation. 

The fair-minded members of Congress accepted the 
apology in the spirit in which it was written, but those 
who hated me refused to be placated, and conceived an 
attack that had every promise of success. At the outset 
of the war the President had been voted the sum of fifty 
million dollars to be used for the National Security and 
Defense, a mobile body of money designed to meet emer- 
gencies and for the support of organizations whose neces- 
sities were too immediate to wait on red tape. The Com- 
mittee on Public Information operated from this fund, 


and here was the spot at which the opposition struck. 
Word went to the President that he must discharge me 
if he expected to have the appropriation renewed on 
June 30th. 

It was a blow that menaced the proper prosecution of 
the war, and as a matter of course there was but one thing 
for me to do. I saw the President at once and offered my 
resignation. He refused to accept it, generously insisting 
that one indiscretion was not heavy enough to weigh 
against a year of effective service. It was also the case, 
he pointed out, that the Committee was so peculiarly my 
own creation that its manifold and important activities 
would suffer hurt if transferred to other hands. Moreover, 
he was of the opinion that my "manly letter" met the 
situation, and that the unfortunate incident would soon 
be closed. 

While deeply grateful, the position in which I found 
myself was unendurable. It was a certainty that the 
President would be attacked for keeping me, and while 
I had no doubt of his ability to win out on the issue, the 
fight constituted another burden that no one had the 
right to impose. What I suggested was this that he 
should cut me loose from his fund as far as the domestic 
work of the Committee was concerned, letting me go to 
Congress with my own request for an appropriation for 
the Committee. This, I urged, would give me the long- 
sought opportunity to make full and official report on the 
work, meeting accusers and accusations squarely and in 
the open. If I failed I would have had my day in court, 
while if I succeeded there would be an end to the cry that 
the President was "defying Congress" by his mainte- 
nance of the Committee. 

I carried my point, filed my request for an appropriation, 
and on June llth presented myself before the House Com- 
mittee on Appropriations to justify my official existence. 



Among those who faced me I did not find a friend. Mr. 
Sherley and Mr. Byrnes, the two Democrats, were of 
another school of political thought, while of the Republi- 
cans, Mr. Gillett and Mr. Mondell had only horror for 
my economic beliefs. As for "Uncle Joe" Cannon, he 
was on record with the statement that I "ought to be taken 
by the nape of the neck and the slack of the pants and 
thrown into space." 

All Washington had its eyes on the hearing, and gossip 
had but one verdict. The Committee "was going to be 
exposed as a worthless, partizan body," not a dollar would 
be granted, nor would continued existence be allowed. 
For three days, eight hours a day, the Committee's ac- 
tivities and personnel were subjected to the most search- 
ing examination, and while the general attitude was critical 
to the point of hostility, they gave me a "square deal" 
every step of the way. Division by division, man by 
man, dollar by dollar, we offered the Committee for 
scrutiny, and when this inspection was finished, I insisted 
that every charge of partizanship, inaccuracy, and dis- 
honesty should be taken up. One by one we nailed the 
lies that had bedeviled the Committee, laying down our 
proof, submitting to cross-examination, and inviting con- 
tradiction of our facts. The Fourth-of-July story, the 
aircraft publicity, the political affiliations of executives, 
my speeches, every published criticism and attack all 
were considered in turn, and at the end there was a verdict 
in our favor with not even "Uncle Joe" raising his voice 
in dissent. 

The one question remaining was as to my "temper- 
amental qualifications." The editorials that I wrote in 
Colorado in 1912 and 1913 in support of the Initiative and 
Referendum, the right of the people to recall elected 
officials, etc., were read at length, and on the following 
morning the press carried the statement that I had "re- 



canted." While it is true that I regretted certain phrases, 
I recanted no belief, but asserted my continuing faith in 
these words: 

MR. CREEL. I want to say that every single thing in which I 
have believed and every single thing for which I have fought 
and this is without exception is to-day law, either in federal 
statutes, state statutes, or in municipal charters. There is not 
a single advocacy of mine that has not been approved by Amer- 
ican majorities. My crime is that I fought for these things before 
they became fashionable. I think it is significant also that it 
has never once been charged that I have intruded a single pre- 
war enthusiasm into the discharge of my duties here; that no 
allegation has been made that I have allowed the specific reforms 
in which I believed before the war to influence me or even to 
appear in my work since our declaration of war. They go back 
ten years to things I wrote, but avoid carefully any investigation 
of my activities since April 6, 1917. 

THE CHAIRMAN. Aside from the character of the editorials 
themselves, the charges that have been brought, in large measure, 
are that they show the viewpoint, touching the Presidency, 
touching the Constitution, touching the Supreme Court, and 
touching the Congress, of one who believed that these various 
institutions were of such a character as to prevent the man 
holding such views from being now the advocate of this govern- 
ment and of democracy in its warfare against autocratic govern- 
ment. That is the essence, is the gravamen of the charge, as I 
understand it. 

MR. CREEL. Never at any time have I urged any instrument 
of change except the ballot; it is true that I have urged consti- 
tutional changes, nor do I feel that this was sacrilege. I think 
it is one of the greatest documents ever written, but times 
change, new needs arise, and I hold it well within the rights of 
citizens to alter and advance. Never at any time have I preached 
any doctrine of revolution, only the propriety of change. I 
have always held steadfastly, and to-day more so than ever, to 
the belief that this is the greatest government in the history of 
the world; that its institutions represent all that is best in 
human thought and all that is best in human endeavor. My 
animating impulse has been the belief in larger civic intelligence 
and enthusiasm; my effort to get citizenship, the electorate, to 



take a more active interest in governmental affairs to vote 
honestly and solemnly almost. As a consequence, I have urged 
all those things that would more closely identify people with 
government, seeking to intensify interest in public business and 
public affairs. I do not believe there is a man in the United 
States who has a firmer belief in our form of government and in 
our institutions than myself, and if I made attacks upon them 
it was because I felt there were certain things which were the 
proper subjects of change. 

MR. MONDELL. You realize, I assume, that the German 
propagandists could make very effective use now of these utter- 
ances of the gentleman who, at the present time, is at the head 
of the publicity of the government and is leading the propaganda 
to express and prove the splendor and justice of our institutions? 

MR. CREEL. I feel that if the gentleman who introduced 
these editorials into the Record had troubled to make some in- 
vestigation of my present work, instead of going clear out of 
Colorado to find out what I wrote seven years ago, probably 
the German propagandists would not have any chance for ex- 
ploitation, Mr. Mondell. 

At the close, character witnesses" were put on the 
stand, as it were, in an effort to develop my "temper- 
amental" fitness or unfitness. Mr. Blair and Mr. Byoir, 
business men and Republicans, were asked as to my ex- 
ecutive abilities, and Professor Ford, as a Republican and 
as one holding the sane and conservative post of dean of 
the University of Minnesota, was told to give his frank 
opinion of me. The statement of Professor Ford contains 
points that lift it above the personal: 

MR. FORD. I never saw Mr. Creel until I came down to 
Washington in response to a telegram from him. It was through 
no personal connection of any kind, so that my view of him has 
been to that extent simply that of a man dispassionately watch- 
ing him. He was directing what seemed to me to be one of the 
most important functions that had been created as a result of 
war activities. I feel that I can say now that it seems to me that 
Mr. Creel has really succeeded in this work. Apparently he 



lacked all of the qualifications that most of us would have put 
together as making up the ideal man to do this job. He suc- 
ceeded because he lacked most of the qualities and all of the 
experience that an average wiseacre would have said were 
essential to success. If anybody had asked me to sit down and 
say what kind of man should be put in such a position, I should 
have said, "This man must have certain ideas about adminis- 
tration and organization; he must have worked in organizations; 
and he must be a man who sits down and thinks out plans and 
then has the plan of an organization all charted out with which 
to execute his plans." I should have said that he must be a man 
who would be able to drive those other men in the organization 
as the usual so-called executive type drive other men. 

This war has put most such standards of judging men entirely 
out of business. What Mr. Creel really was I saw it at once 
was an educator running what might be called a war Chautauqua. 
Now, for the purpose of doing that, the man who has fixed 
ideas, and who has had an experience that makes him discard 
everything except certain "safe and sane" things, would have 
followed his own rule-of-thumb methods, and would never have 
exhibited the ideals and encouraged the development of the 
things that have gone on here. The "safe and sane" type could 
have kept himself out of the press and free from criticism, but the 
Committee would have early made its appearance in the obituary 
column. The thing wanted in this work was not any definable 
administrative experience or any set of fixed ideas about organi- 
zation. What you want are two things: You want a man with 
the right spirit, and that spirit can be covered in just one word, 
and that is "service." The second thing is that you want a man 
who is open-minded and responsive and quick to accept sugges- 
tions and see possibilities beyond the vision of the man who 
makes them. I think that Mr. Creel possesses pre-eminently 
these two essential things. 

That is the reason why this Committee has grown so flexible, 
has met situations that none of us foresaw, and has done a work 
so big that none of us could ever conceive for a moment it was 
within the range of possibilities in twelve months. The Com- 
mittee has done big things and worked effectively. Mr. Creel 
took things that the normal routine mind would have discarded. 
I know what my reaction was when a man came from Chicago 
to suggest to us that we take the Four Minute Men. I hesitated, 



but Mr. Creel said, go ahead. Nothing like that had ever been 
done. It was a perilous experiment in many ways to organize 
men all over the country to speak for the government with 
something like the authority of the government. They had 
never had such responsibility and one could easily imagine indis- 
cretions that would keep us in hot water. Mr. Creel took it 
as a form of service to meet something that had never occurred 
before, and he was right, and the thing has worked out well. 

A man who had worked in the government in the ordinary 
way would have said at once, "The government cannot go into 
the motion-picture business." But here was a man who saw 
what others had not seen clearly enough in the past, that such 
a thing has infinite possibilities for good if it is organized in the 
right way, and that you can teach through the eyes and through 
these pictures what neither the printed nor spoken word can 
teach. He caught the idea and he pushed it; and its possibilities 
as an instrument in patriotic education are evident. I could go 
from point to point, but I want to emphasize this fact, that he 
has constantly kept before his mind the idea of service and just 
doing the job and thinking of everything simply in relation to 
the great task. Notwithstanding the extraordinary situation 
which confronted him in an office which brought endless strain 
and ceaseless labor, he has made decisions that were right in the 
long run and which have been extraordinarily fruitful in results. 
He has made them quickly, made them advisedly, and he has 
done the work of a real executive. We have had a sense of 
responsibility, but everything we have done has been under his 
supervision. It may be said that this Committee, in its spirit of 
service, in its willingness to get behind any good thing and 
claim no vainglorious credit, has really shown the spirit of service 
that has animated the chairman. All of us had this spirit, of 
course, or we would not have gone into the work and stuck to it 
through misrepresentation and misunderstanding; but that 
spirit of service would not have been dominant in the Committee 
on Public Information except under a man who clearly was above 
self-seeking and pettiness. 

When it was all over I had the feeling that the Commit- 
tee had won respect and approval. Developments bore 
me out, for, while cuts were made, an appropriation of 



$1, 250,000 was voted. The committee members were 
unanimous in allowing it, and, as I have stated in a previ- 
ous chapter, Republicans and Democrats were equally 
generous on the floor of the House, reporting that the 
work was important and that it had been discharged 
competently and patriotically. 

All of us had the hope that this would end our troubles, 
but the respite was brief. The press generally ignored 
the hearing, and after a lapse of time sufficient to dull 
memory the same old lies were brought forth again and 
put through their spavined paces. 



EOKING back, it seems a miracle that the original 
purpose of the Committee's existence should have 
survived the terrific strain of creation. Everything with 
which we had to do was new and foreign to the democratic 
process. There were no standards to measure by, no trails 
to follow, and, as if these were not difficulties enough, the 
necessities of the hour commanded instant action. Even 
before any allotment of funds, before an organization 
could be gathered or quarters secured, the Committee 
was forced into urgent duties and decisions. 

We found temporary lodgment in the navy library, a 
shadowy, shelf -filled room peopled by quiet, retiring gentle- 
women, who shuddered in corners while noisy mobs invaded 
their sanctuary. Every day saw and heard its hundreds 
of callers eager patriots, duty-dodgers, job-hunters, cranks, 
inventors, Congressmen with constituents to place buzz- 
ing like a locust swarm and devouring time with much the 
same rapacity. 

Arthur Bullard and Ernest Poole, quitting their literary 
work at the first call to arms, came to my aid, and were 
followed by Edgar G. Sisson, who resigned his post as 
editor of The Cosmopolitan that he might serve. When 
I think of their unselfish drudgeries, their contributions 
from loyal hearts and driving minds, I find fault with 
every phrase designed to convey appreciation. Bullard, 



with his first-hand knowledge of countries and peoples 
and his even more intimate study of the Allied effort to 
capture public opinion; Poole, with his clear, democratic 
vision; and Sisson, with his tireless energy and rare exec- 
utive genius shot light through the general confusion, 
and, in spite of every hopelessness, purposes commenced to 
take form. 

The voluntary censorship, driven through in the best 
fashion that conditions permitted, was companioned by 
the creation of machinery for the collection and issuance 
of the official news of government. Out of that early 
chaos also came the Official Bulletin, the Four Minute Men, 
the mobilization of the artists and the novelists, and vari- 
ous other ideas that had a later fruitage. 

For shelter we managed finally to rent quarters at 10 
Jackson Place, an old dwelling-house once the home of 
either Daniel Webster or John C. Calhoun, tradition divid- 
ing sharply in the matter. What we should have done 
was to have commandeered an apartment-house at the 
very start, but as a result of incessant attack economy 
obsessed me, an obsession, by the way, that remained to 
hamper and delay. The house next door was not leased 
until we had men and women working in basement cubby- 
holes and attic cells, and a third dwelling was taken over 
only when kitchens and hallways were filled to overflowing. 

The Division of News, fitting the voluntary censorship 
as skin fits the hand, was equally fundamental as far as 
the purpose of the Committee was concerned. With the 
press depended upon to protect military information of 
tangible benefit to the enemy, it became an obligation to 
meet the legitimate demand for all war news that contained 
no military secrets. It was not a duty, however, that 
could be left safely to the peace-time practice of the press 
with its uninterrupted daily swing of reporters through 
the various departments, the buttonholing of clerks, and 



the haphazard business of permitting minor officials to 
make unchecked and unauthorized statements. Nor was 
there room for the "scoop," since war news could not be 
looked upon in any other light than common property call- 
ing for common issuance. 

There were also dangers from the other side. Admirals 
and generals had been reared in a school of iron silence, 
and as a result of their training looked upon the war- 
machinery as something that had to be hidden under lock 
and key. To the average military mind everything con- 
nected with war was a "secret," and the press itself had 
no rights that needed to be respected. Even in the few 
cases where officials appreciated the value of publicity 
there was an utter lack of the "news sense," with the result 
that trivialities were brought forward and real importances 

What was needed, and what we installed, was official 
machinery for the preparation and release of all news 
bearing upon America's war effort not opinion nor con- 
jecture, but facts a running record of each day's progress 
in order that the fathers and mothers of the United States 
might gain a certain sense of partnership. Newspaper 
men of standing and ability were sworn into the govern- 
ment service and placed at the very heart of endeavor in 
the War and Navy departments, in the War Trade Board, 
the War Industries Board, the Department of Justice, and 
the Department of Labor. It was their job to take dead- 
wood out of the channels of information, permitting a 
free and continuous flow. 

A more delicate and difficult task could not have been 
conceived, for both the press and the officials viewed the 
arrangement with distrust, if not hostility. On the side 
of government there was the deep conviction that neces- 
sary concealments were being violated, and even when 
this antagonism was overcome there developed the assump- 



tion that only "favorable news" should be given out for 
publication. It was our insistence that the bad should 
be told with the good, failures admitted along with the 
announcements of success, and that the representatives 
of the Committee should have the unquestioned right to 
exercise their news sense and to check up every statement 
in the interest of absolute accuracy. Owing to the un- 
swerving support of Secretary Baker and Secretary Daniels, 
we carried our contentions, and after much preliminary 
creaking the machine commenced to function with smooth- 
ness and certainty. 

On the part of the press there was the fear, and a very 
natural one, that the new order of things meant "press- 
agenting" on a huge scale. This fear could not be argued 
away, but had to be met by actual demonstration of its 
groundlessness. Our job, therefore, was to present the 
facts without the slightest trace of color or bias, either in 
the selection of news or the manner in which it was pre- 
sented. Thus, in practice, the Division of News set forth 
in exactly the same colorless style the remarkable success 
of the Browning guns, on the one hand, and on the other 
the existence of bad health conditions in three or four of 
the cantonments. In time the correspondents realized 
that we were running a government news bureau, not a 
press agency, and their support became cordial and sincere. 

The Division of News kept open the whole twenty-four 
hours. Every "story," on the moment of its completion, 
was mimeographed and "put on the table" in the press- 
room where the news associations kept regular men, and 
to which the correspondents came regularly. . These 
"stories" were "live news," meant for the telegraph- 
wire, and the method employed assured speedy, authorita- 
tive, and equitable distribution of the decisions, activities 
and intentions of the government in its war-making 



Not only this, but the Division of News was the one 
central information bureau. Before its creation Wash- 
ington correspondents, running down a "story" or track- 
ing a rumor, were compelled to visit innumerable offices, 
working delay to overburdened officials, or else telephoning 
endlessly, even dragging department heads out of their 
beds at ungodly hours. Our desk men, in touch with every 
happening at every hour of the day and night, were able 
to confirm or deny, so that one visit or one telephone-call 
met the need of the correspondent, saving his time and 
likewise the time of officials. 

No attempt was made, however, to prevent independent 
news-gathering or to interfere with individual contacts. 
It was our insistence and arrangement that correspondents 
should have daily interviews with all executive heads, 
and in every case where a correspondent, feature-writer, 
or magazine- writer had an idea for a "story" either we 
supplied him with the facts, information, and statistics 
desired or else cleared the way for him to get his material 
first hand. 

When we found that the rural press was experiencing a 
sense of neglect, in that it had neither wire service nor 
Washington correspondents, we secured the services of a 
capable "country editor" from the state of Washington, 
and had him prepare a weekly digest of the official war 
news that went to the country weeklies in galley form. 
Country dailies also asked to be put on this list, which 
grew to more than twelve thousand. At any intimation 
that this matter was not desired the paper was removed 
from the mailing-list, and by this and other checking we 
were able to keep a more or less careful watch on the ex- 
tent to which the service was used. It ran as high as six 
thousand columns a week. 

The Division of News also operated the voluntary censor- 
ship, advising and interpreting the government's requests 



for secrecy in the matter of purely military information. 
Each Washington correspondent, likewise every news- 
paper office in the United States, had the card that bore 
these requests; nevertheless, there were hundreds of in- 
quiries daily as to "what the government wanted" or did 
not want. The men on the reference-desk either insisted 
that the news item in point was fully covered by the card 
or advised that there was no objection to publication. 
In all cases of doubt, decision was referred to Gen. Frank 
Mclntyre, acting for the War Department, or to the navy 
representative, who rendered the official ruling. In no 
instance, however, was any direct order laid upon the press. 
It was up to each correspondent to comply with the wishes 
of the government or to reject them, the decision being 
left entirely to his common sense and patriotism. The 
Committee itself was at all times careful to avoid any ap- 
pearance of censorship, refusing to assume authorities and 
holding fast to the safe role of adviser and interpreter. 

There can be no question as to the value of the Division 
of News to the government itself. Through its news- 
gathering machinery it gave to the people a daily chronicle 
of the war effort so frank, complete, and accurate that in 
time it developed a public confidence that stood like iron 
against the assaults of rumor and the hysteria of whispered 

Nor can there be any question as to the value of the 
division to the press. It saved the newspapers thousands 
of dollars in time and in men by the daily delivery and 
equitable distribution of the official war news, and was 
equally quick to assist in the handling of larger problems. 
In the case of the casualty lists, for instance, ordinary 
procedure would have compelled the three press associa- 
tions, and such papers as maintained independent services, 
to make separate copies for separate distribution over the 
telegraph-wires. This duty was assumed by the Division 



of News, and a plan was worked out by which the Com- 
mittee printed the lists and mailed them to newspapers 
with a five-day release date. By this method the press 
was saved the time and money and the overburdened 
wires out of Washington were relieved of a crushing bur- 
den. The system meant no delay in the notification of rel- 
atives, who received word by telegram from the Adjutant- 
General's office several days in advance of publication in 
the newspapers. 

As a matter of fact, the Division of News stood at all 
times as the servant and champion of the newspapers, 
making daily and vigorous fight against unnecessary 
secrecies. By way of illustration, it was the original de- 
cision that correspondents should not be permitted to 
accompany General Pershing and the first troops that went 
to France. The Committee insisted that such a course 
would arouse just and wide-spread indignation, and by 
dint of unanswerable argument we won a ruling from 
Secretary Baker that recognized the right of the press to 
adequate representation. Commencing with the men se- 
lected by the news associations, the number was increased 
carefully and intelligently until twenty-three accredited 
correspondents were at headquarters in France. At this 
point General Pershing put his foot down hard, cabling 
that there were twice as many correspondents with the 
small American force as with the great armies of England 
and France, a fact that was commencing to cause laughter 
and ridicule. 

All of which was true, but it was equally true that neither 
England nor France was sending soldiers three thousand 
miles from home, nor was it taken into consideration that 
the United States had ten times as many papers as the 
French or the English. The order held, but the Committee 
refused to admit defeat and devised a scheme of "war- 
zone visits." Our Paris office, working in conjunction with 



the American, French, and English authorities, gained per- 
mission to conduct correspondents to the various fronts 
on inspection tours. This done, the Washington office 
made itself reponsible for passports and letters of introduc- 
tion, with the result that no responsible, duly accredited 
American newspaper man was denied the right to see and 
study the American effort in France. 

The Grand Fleet was another case in point. We were 
willing to admit that there should be secrecy as to the 
number and whereabouts of our war-ships, but we saw 
only absurdity in the attempt to hide the fact that there 
really was a fleet and that it was ready to fight. One of the 
most popular pre-war lies was the "demoralization of the 
navy." What finer message to carry to the people than the 
might of "the gray, mailed fist"? Secretary Daniels and 
Admiral Mayo saw the force of the argument, and the 
Committee was permitted to send party after party of 
correspondents and writers to Yorktown, where the war- 
ships of the United States lay at anchor in the early days 
of the war. Not one word was ever printed as to location 
or number, but the daily and periodical press was filled with 
columns that told America of our naval invincibility. The 
two articles by Mary Roberts Rinehart, published in The 
Saturday Evening Post, were worth a host of recruiting 
officers, for they told the people that the first line of defense 
was worthy of full confidence and complete reliance. 

The same system was followed with respect to canton- 
ments, shipyards, and munition-factories, and as a result 
a flood of positive news crowded out the negative and 
destructive. Another thing that aided materially in the 
stabilization of public opinion was the open pledge of the 
army and the navy that all accidents, disasters, and cas- 
ualties would be given instant announcement. It was a 
pledge that was kept. 

The Committee, while safeguarding the interests of the 



government and upholding the rights of the press, felt 
that its true responsibility was to the people of the United 
States. As a consequence of this belief, which put us be- 
tween the press and the government as an independent, 
impartial force, the Committee met with almost constant 
attack from either one side or the other. When we sup- 
ported the contentions of the correspondents, the admirals 
and generals declared that we wanted "to run the war in 
the interest of the newspapers," and when we accepted 
censorship rulings as sound and reasonable, the press 
talked wildly of gags and muzzles. Sometimes it was the 
case that both sides joined in attack, forgetting differences 
in the joy of a common irritation. 

For instance, in March, 1918, in the absence of Secretary 
Baker, and without previous warning or consultation, the 
War Department curtly informed us that thereafter all 
casualty lists must be issued to the press without the home 
address or the name of the next of kin. The form that 
we had been following was as follows: 

Wounded: Private John Jones. S. J. Jones (father) 
2 Yale Street, Brooklyn, N. Y. 

The new War Department order prescribed this form: 
Wounded: Private John Jones. 

We realized at once that the thousands of identical 
names in the United States made it certain that the new 
form would work anxiety and suffering to countless homes. 
Merely to announce that John Jones or Patrick Kelly was 
killed or wounded meant that the parents, relatives, and 
friends of the innumerable John Joneses and Patrick Kellys 
would be given over to every fear and grief, since there was 
nothing to indicate exact identity. 

We took up the matter with Assistant-Secretary Crowell 



at once, and asked the reason for the sudden and astonish- 
ing change in plans. Boiled down, this was the explana- 
tion given : The German spies, reading the printed casualty 
lists, would proceed at once to the home and there, under 
some pretense, worm out of the family the unit to which 
the soldier belonged. Then the spy would transmit the 
information to Berlin and Berlin would then send it to the 
front, thus acquainting the German generals with the 
character of the American troops that faced them. 

As we pointed out, why should the Germans adopt this 
tedious, roundabout method when a trench raid would give 
them the same information in a night? And even if we 
granted the absurd contention that there were .enough 
German spies in America to visit homes in every city, 
how would they convey then* information to Germany? 
Assistant-Secretary Crowell ended the discussion by the 
brusk declaration that the military authorities were in 
possession of conclusive proof that Berlin received American 
news within twenty-four hours of its publication. Unable 
to secure any modification of the order, and deeply con- 
vinced that it was as stupid as it was cruel, the Committee 
refused to issue casualty lists in the new form. 

For a full year the press had thundered at the Committee 
as an "agency of repression," yet now, when we were 
standing for a sane and proper publicity, the papers de- 
scribed a virtuous roundabout, and attacked the Com- 
mittee for its "impudent presumption" in daring to ques- 
tion the War Department's efforts to safeguard the military 
secrets of America. 

The Committee stood by its position, and I deemed the 
matter of sufficient gravity to carry it to the President 
himself. I cited hundreds of cases of families needlessly 
torn by anguish and told of the avalanche of telephone- 
calls and telegrams from all parts of the country. In ad- 
dition to this I insisted that the War Department should 



produce its proof that German spies in tnis country were 
in communication regularly with Berlin. Grudgingly 
enough, the alleged proof was brought forward and was 
seen to be the desired publication in German papers of 
news of American effort designed to weaken German 
morale by steady hammering on the inevitability of Ger- 
man defeat from the growing American force news that 
the Committee itself had sent to Holland and which our 
representative in The Hague had managed to slip into 
Germany past the censorship. 

In five minutes the whole Crowell contention was shown 
to be the last word in absurdity, and the President ordered 
a return to the former method that gave the home address 
and the next of kin 

Such conditions inevitably made the Division of News 
a storm-center, and the fact that it rode the waves to suc- 
cess is in itself the best commentary upon the devotions 
and abilities of the men who were called upon to direct this 
most important department of the Committee's endeavor. 

It was Mr. Sisson who gave form and purpose to the 
division, organizing the machinery to operate the volun- 
tary censorship, as well as gathering and training the or- 
ganization for news collection and distribution. Passing 
time compelled many changes, but they were in detail 
only, for Mr. Sisson built on the solid rock of common 
sense, justice, efficiency, and impartiality. L. Ames Brown, 
the Washington writer and newspaper man, was the first 
director of the division, and, when transferred to inaugurate 
a new line of work, was succeeded by Mr. J. W. McConaghy, 
who left his position in the New York newspaper field to 
serve with us. He brought energy and ideas, and during 
his regime the scope of the work was broadened materially. 
Mr. McConaghy, drafted by the Foreign Section to make 
a survey of the Central-American countries, was succeeded 
by Mr. Leigh Reilly, formerly managing editor of The 



Chicago Record-Herald, a man of rich experience and highest 
standing in the newspaper profession. He bore the great 
burden of the summer and autumn of 1918, and the credit 
for efficiency in the period of supreme stress is his. 

As far as the work itself was concerned, the two most 
important tasks were in connection with the army and the 
navy, for these afforded not only the bulk of the news, but 
it was the news that dealt with the importances of life 
and death. With respect to the navy, we were fortunate 
at the very outset in securing the services of John Wilbur 
Jenkins, dean of the Baltimore newspaper fraternity, for 
in his indefatigable little body he coupled an invincible 
placidity with amazing steadfastness. Storms might break 
upon him and every wind of confusion roar about him, but 
when the sun came out again it was invariably the case 
that John Wilbur was to be seen plugging along at his 
original task, serene and unchanged. He won the respect 
of every naval official, and this relationship was no small 
factor in promoting the success of a working arrangement 
bound up with so many prejudices and decisions. 

It was Secretary Daniels himself, however, who made 
the Committee's contacts with the navy as effective as 
they were pleasant, for, more than any other high official 
in Washington, save the President, he had common sense 
and abiding faith in straightforward truth-telling. He 
wanted the people to know, and in every dispute his de- 
cision was always on the side of openness. Admiral Benson 
early caught the spirit of the Committee's endeavor, and 
gave it confidence and undeviating support. Admiral 
Earle, Admiral Taylor, and Admiral Palmer were also 
our honored helpers. 

The War Department was no such easy problem. In- 
finitely more huge and complex than the navy, it bubbled 
new activities each day, all far-reaching, and each one a 
mass of delicate detail. First we "tried out" Hey wood 



Brown, of The New York Tribune, but he returned to his 
paper in a short while, and we then reached forth and 
plucked Wallace Irwin away from his prose and poetry. 
While his bodily strength lasted the brilliance of his work 
was equaled only by his personal popularity, but he didn't 
last long enough. There was no question as to the drudgery 
of the position, but what really brought about his col- 
lapse was worry. Strangely enough for a poet and novel- 
ist, Wallace had an ingrowing conscience, and after work- 
ing eighteen hours a day he spent the remaining six fretting 
over sins of omission. As a consequence, he took to his 
bed one fine day, and an indignant wife transported him 
to New York "beyond our clutches." 

At that time Marlen Pew was running The Editor and 
Publisher, and before that was one of the "star men" of 
the Newspaper Enterprise Association. Of all the field, 
he looked the best, and there was never occasion to regret 
the choice. Every inch a progressive, with an insistent 
belief in the right of the people to have the facts, he had 
the courage of his very intense convictions, and he finished 
his service with the proud record of never having lost a 
battle with red tape or mossbackism. He created a ma- 
chinery that functioned with almost automatic precision, 
even winning the reluctant admiration of the Washington 
correspondents to such a degree that they asked its con- 
tinuance when the Committee abandoned the work after 
the armistice. Mr. Arthur Crawford, formerly of The 
Chicago Herald, looked after the Quartermaster's Depart- 
ment; Mr. Edwin Newdick, who came to us from The 
Christian Science Monitor, worked with the Surgeon- 
General; Mr. Carl H. Butman covered the Aircraft Board; 
and other representatives in other divisions of the War 
Department were Mr. Livy Richards of Boston and Mr. 
John Calvin Mellet, formerly with the International News 



Other branches of the government were no less well 
served by newspaper men of the same high character and 
proved ability. Mr. Archibald Mattingly, Mr. Charles 
P. Sweeney, Mr. Garrard Harris, and Mr. E. H. Hitch- 
cock measured up to every demand of their difficult posi- 
tions, contributing materially to the achievement of the 

Mr. Kenneth Durant and Mr. Charles Willoughby, 
dividing the duties of the reference-desk, had difficult posi- 
tions, for it was was to them that inquiries came. Hour in 
and hour out, they answered them with ability, patience, 
fairness, and never-failing tact. 

Even to-day, when I review the work of the Division 
of News in critical dispassion, I thrill to the sheer wonder 
of the achievement. Here was a brand-new organization, 
called to do a brand-new thing, assembled under highest 
pressure and driven at top speed at all times, and yet its 
record for accuracy is without parallel in the annals of 
news-gathering. During the eighteen months of existence 
it cleared all of the official war news of government, issuing 
more than six thousand releases. Every one of these re- 
leases ran the gantlet of incessant and hostile scrutiny, 
yet only three were ever subjected to direct attack on the 
score of inaccuracy. 1 In two of these cases the Committee 
was justified by investigation, while the fault in the third 
instance was that of a high official whose word could not 
be questioned. 

Chapters 3 and 4. 



f 1 1 HERE was nothing more time- wasting than the flood 
J. of people that poured into Washington during the war, 
each burdened with some wonderful suggestion that could 
be imparted only to an executive head. Even so, all of 
them had to be seen, for not only was it their right as 
citizens, but it was equally the case that the idea might have 
real value. Many of our best suggestions came from the 
most unlikely sources. 

In the very first hours of the Committee, when we were 
still penned in the navy library, fighting for breath, a hand- 
some, rosy-cheeked youth burst through the crowd and 
caught my lapel in a death-grip. His name was Donald 
Ryerson. He confessed to Chicago as his home, and the 
plan that he presented was the organization of volunteer 
speakers for the purpose of making patriotic talks in motion- 
picture theaters. He had tried out the scheme in Chicago, 
and the success of the venture had catapulted him on the 
train to Washington and to me. 

Being driven to the breaking-point has certain compen- 
sations, after all. It forces one to think quickly and con- 
fines thought largely to the positive values of a suggestion 
rather than future difficulties. Had I had the time to 
weigh the proposition from every angle, it may be that I 
would have decided against it, for it was delicate and dan- 
gerous business to turn loose on the country an army of 





speakers impossible of exact control and yet vested in 
large degree with the authority of the government. In 
ten minutes we had decided upon a national organization 
to be called the "Four Minute Men," and Mr. Ryerson 
rushed out with my appointment as its director. 

When the armistice brought activities to a conclusion 
the Four Minute Men numbered 75,000 speakers, more 
than 7,555,190 speeches had been made, and a fair estimate 
of audiences makes it certain that a total of 134,454,514 
people had been addressed. Notwithstanding the nature 
of the work, the infinite chances for blunder and bungle, 
this unique and effective agency functioned from first to 
last with only one voice ever raised to attack its faith and 
efficiency. As this voice was that of Senator Sherman of 
Illinois, this attack is justly to be set down as part of the 
general praise. 

The form of presentation decided upon was a glass slide 
to be thrown on the theater-curtain, and worded as follows: 


(Copyright, 1917. Trade-mark.) 

(Insert name of speaker) 

will speak four minutes on a subject 

of national importance. He speaks 

under the authority of 




A more difficult decision was as to the preparation of the 
matter to be sent out to speakers. We did not want 
stereotyped oratory, and yet it was imperative to guard 
against the dangers of unrestraint. It was finally agreed 



that regular bulletins should be issued, each containing 
a budget of material covering every phase of the question 
to be discussed, and also including two or three illustrative 
four-minute speeches. Mr. Waldo P. Warren of Chicago 
was chosen to write the first bulletin, and when he was 
called away his duties fell upon E. T. Gundlach, also of 
Chicago, the patriotic head of an advertising agency. 
These bulletins, however, prepared in close and continued 
consultation with the proper officials of each government 
department responsible for them, were also gone over 
carefully by Professor Ford and his scholars. 

The idea, from the very first, had the sweep of a prairie 
fire. Speakers volunteered by the thousand in every state, 
the owners of the motion-picture houses, after a first 
natural hesitancy, gave exclusive privileges to the or- 
ganization, and the various government departments fairly 
clamored for the services of the Four Minute Men. The 
following list of bulletins will show the wide range of topics : 


Universal Service by Selective Draft. May 12-21, 1917 

First Liberty Loan May 22-June 15, 1917 

Red Cross June 18-25, 1917 


Food Conservation July 1-14, 1917 

Why We Are Fighting July 23-Aug. 5, 1917 

The Nation in Arms Aug. 6-26, 1917 

The Importance of Speed Aug. 19-26, 1917 

What Our Enemy Really Is Aug. 27-Sept. 23, 1917 

Unmasking German Propaganda .... Aug. 27-Sept. 23, 1917 

(supplementary topic) 

Onward to Victory Sept. 24-Oct. 27, 1917 

Second Liberty Loan Oct. 8-28, 1917 

Food Pledge Oct. 29-Nov. 4, 1917 

Maintaining Morals and Morale. . . .Nov. 12-25, 1917 

Carrying the Message Nov. 26-Dec. 22, 1917 

War Savings Stamps Jan. 2-19, 1918 

The Shipbuilder Jan 28-Feb. 9, 1918 



Eyes for the Navy Feb. 11-16, 1918 

The Danger to Democracy Feb. 18-Mar. 10, 1918 

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address Feb. 12, 1918 

The Income Tax Mar. 11-16, 1918 

Farm and Garden Mar. 25-30, 1918 

President Wilson's Letter to Theaters. Mar. 31-Apr. 5, 1918 

Third Liberty Loan Apr. 6-May 4, 1918 

Organization (Republished Apr. 23, 1918) 

Second Red Cross Campaign May 13-25, 1918 

Danger to America May 27-June 12, 1918 

Second War Savings Campaign June 24-28, 1918 

The Meaning of America June 29- July 27, 1918 

Mobilizing America's Man Power. . .July 29-Aug. 17, 1918 
Where Did You Get Your Facts?.. . .Aug. 26-Sept. 7, 1918 

Certificates to Theater Members Sept. 9-14, 1918 

Register Sept. 5-12, 1918 

Four Minute Singing For general use 

Fourth Liberty Loan Sept. 28-Oct. 19, 1918 

Food Program for 1919 Changed to Dec. 1-7; final- 
ly canceled 

Fire Prevention Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 1918 

United War Work Campaign Nov. 3-18, 1918 

Red Cross Home Service Dec. 7, 1918 

What Have We Won? Dec. 8-14, 1918 

Red Cross Christmas Roll Call Dec. 15-23, 1918 

A Tribute to the Allies Dec. 24, 1918 

Almost from the first the organization had the projectile 
force of a French "75," and it was increasingly the case 
that government department heads turned to the Four 
Minute Men when they wished to arouse the nation swiftly 
and effectively. At a time when the Third Liberty Loan 
was lagging, President Wilson bought a fifty-dollar bond 
and challenged the men and women of the nation to 
"match" it. The Treasury Department asked the Com- 
mittee to broadcast the message, and paid for the telegrams 
that went out to the state and county chairmen. Within 
a few days fifty thousand Four Minute Men were de- 



livering the challenge to the people of every community 
in the United States, and the loan took a leap that carried 
it over the top. General Crowder followed the same plan 
in his registration campaign, putting up the money for 
the telegrams that went to the state and county chair- 
men, and, like Secretary McAdoo, he obtained the same 
swift service and instant results. 

In June Mr. Ryerson left the Committee to take his 
commission in the navy. The soul of honor and loyalty 
and patriotism, and a dynamo of intelligent energy, the 
only thing that lessened the blow of his departure was that 
William McCormick Blair of Chicago, one of the origi- 
nators of the idea, volunteered to build up a nation-wide 
organization. There was nothing easy about the task, for it 
demanded drudgery as well as vision, patience as well as 
drive, and high ability as well as patriotism. That Mr. 
Blair met these demands stands proved by the success 
of the Four Minute Men. No one ever saw him weary 
or discouraged, and his indomitable enthusiasm was at all 
times a source of inspiration to the Committee as a 

The first plan of an organization was the appointment of 
chairmen according to Federal Reserve districts, but this 
soon changed to organization by states, by counties, by 
cities, and even down to wards and townships. In every 
state the interest of the governor was enlisted, likewise the 
close co-operation of the State Council of Defense. Mr. 
Blair called to his side to serve on a National Advisory 
Council such men as William H. Ingersoll of "Ingersoll 
watch" fame, Prof. S. H. Clark of the University of 
Chicago, Samuel Hopkins Adams, the author, and "Mac" 
Martin of Minneapolis, and the work went forward until 
it reached from coast to coast. Philip L. Dodge volunteered 
to organize the New England States, Curtiss Nicholson 
went through the South, and Bertram G. Nelson, professor 



of public speaking at the University of Chicago, journeyed 
from city to city, gathering the Four Minute Men in 
each locality for instruction in the art of "putting talks 
across." These, men, together with Mr. Gundlach and Mr. 
Thomas J. Meek, also served as associate directors. 

The speakers in every case received their authority and 
appointment from the chairmen of the local branches of the 
organization, who, in turn, were appointed through the 
state chairman or direct from headquarters at Washington. 
Each local chairman was registered at once in Washington. 

The original method of organizing a local branch was as 
follows: The written indorsement of three prominent citi- 
zens bankers, professional or business men written on 
their own stationery in a prescribed official form, was re- 
quired for the nomination of a local chairman. These in- 
dorsements were forwarded to headquarters in Washing- 
ton, together with the proper form of application for 
authority to form a local branch, with the privilege of 
representing the government, in which application the 
number of speakers available was stated, in order that 
material might be forwarded promptly in case the appli- 
cation was approved. 

There was pathos as well as humor in many of the in- 
cidental happenings. Men of the most unlikely sort had 
the deep conviction that they were William J. Bryans, 
and when rejected by local organizations many of them 
traveled clear to Washington for the purpose of delivering 
a four-minute speech to me in order that I might see for 
myself the full extent of the injustice to which they had 
been subjected. Constant changes had to be made in 
the interests of improvement, and every elimination held 
its due portion of hurt. Through an effective system of 
inspection, Mr. Blair managed to keep in touch with each 
community, and the ax fell heavily whenever a speaker 
failed to hold his audiences, or injected the note of par- 


tizanship, or else proved himself lacking in restraint or good 

As the organization grew, there came increasing pressure 
to widen the scope of activities. Compelled to pinch pen- 
nies and harassed at all times by lack of adequate funds, 
we resisted expansion instead of encouraging it, but it 
was not long until the new demands "ran over us," as 
it were, giving us the choice between growth or dis- 
integration. Even so, each new step was considered 
carefully, and subjected to every possible restraint and 

National arrangements were made to have Four Minute 
Men appear at the meetings of lodges, fraternal organiza- 
tions, and labor unions, and this work progressed swiftly. 
In most cases these speakers were selected from the mem- 
bership of the organizations to whom they spoke. 

Under the authority of state lecturers of granges, four- 
minute messages, based upon the official bulletins, were 
given also at all meetings of the granges in many states. 
The work was next extended to reach the lumber-camps of 
the country, some five hundred organizations being formed 
in such communities. Indian reservations were also taken 
in, and furnished some of the largest and most enthusiastic 

The New York branch organized a church department to 
present four-minute speeches in churches, synagogues, and 
Sunday-schools. The idea spread from city to city, from 
state to state, and proved of particular value in rural com- 
munities. Some of the states, acting under authority from 
headquarters, organized women's divisions to bring the 
messages of the government to audiences at matinee per- 
formances in the motion-picture theaters, and to the mem- 
bers of women's clubs and other similar organizations. 

College Four Minute Men were organized, under in- 
structors acting as chairmen, to study the regular Four 



Minute Men bulletins, and practise speaking upon the 
subjects thereof, each student being required to deliver 
at least one four-minute speech to the student body during 
the semester, in addition to securing satisfactory credits, 
in order to qualify as a Four Minute Man. This work was 
organized in 153 colleges. 

At the request of the War Department, bulletins similar 
to those published for the use of the Four Minute Men were 
produced by national headquarters, to be used by company 
commanders in many cantonments throughout the country 
in preparing short talks to their men on the causes and 
issues of the war. The following campaigns of the kind were 
conducted to the complete satisfaction of the War Depart- 
ment, as expressed in its official report on the subject: 

1. Why We Are Fighting. January 2, 1918. 

2. Insurance for Soldiers and Sailors. February 1, 1918. 

3. Back of the Trenches. April 6, 1918. 

As a matter of fact, we went far beyond the request 
and furnished hundreds of officers with the regular Four 
Minute Men bulletins as well as with the Committee's 
pamphlets. All were expected to make "morale talks" 
to their men, yet nothing was done to aid them, and the 
publications of the Committee were their one hope. 

The Junior Four Minute Men was an expansion that 
proved to be almost as important as the original idea, for 
the youngsters of the country rallied with a whoop, and, 
what was more to the point, gave results as well as en- 
thusiasm. Like so many other activities of the Committee, 
the Junior movement was more accidental than planned. 
At the request of the state of Minnesota the Washington 
office prepared a special War Savings Stamps bulletin. Re- 
sults were so instant and remarkable that the idea had to 



be carried to other states, more than a million and a half 
copies of the bulletin being distributed to school-children 
during the campaign. Out of it all came the Junior Four 
Minute Men as a vital and integral part of the Committee 
on Public Information. 

It was our cautious fear, at first, that regular school- work 
might be interrupted, but it soon developed that the idea 
had real educational value, helping teachers in their task 
instead of hindering. The general plan was for the teacher 
to explain the subject, using the bulletin as a text-book, 
and the children then wrote their speeches and submitted 
them to the teacher or principal. The best were selected 
and delivered as speeches or were read. In a few cases 
extemporaneous talks were given. 

Details of the contests were left largely to the discretion 
of the teachers. In small schools there was generally one 
contest for the whole school. In schools of more than five 
or six classes it was usual to have separate contests for 
the higher and lower classes, and sometimes for each grade. 
There were many different ways of conducting these con- 
tests. Sometimes they were considered as a regular part 
of the school-work and were held in the class-room with no 
outsiders present, but more often they were made special 
events, the entire school, together with parents and other 
visitors, being present. Both boys and girls were eligible 
and the winners were given an official certificate from the 
government, commissioning them as four-minute speakers 
upon the specified topic of the contest. 

Following the War Savings Stamps contest came the 
Third Liberty Loan contest of April 6 to May 4, 1917. 
A million copies of this bulletin were published and were 
sent directly to the schools from the stencils of the United 
States Bureau of Education in Washington. About two 
hundred thousand schools in all parts of the country were 
reached in this way. The same plan of distribution was 



used for the Junior Fourth Liberty Loan contest, and for 
the Junior Red Cross Christmas roll-call, and these two 
bulletins were published in connection with the School 
Service bulletin, which was then going out from the Com- 
mittee twice monthly to all schools on this list. 

Another innovation, forced by a general demand, was 
the addition of four-minute singing to the work. People 
seemed to want to exercise their voices in moments of 
patriotism, so a bulletin of specially selected songs was 
prepared and issued. The various chairmen appointed 
song-leaders, to take charge of motion-picture-theater 
audiences, and the venture was a success from the first. 

In the summer of 1918 Mr. Blair resigned to enter an 
officers' training-camp, but again the Committee was for- 
tunate in having a successor at hand. Mr. William H. 
Ingersoll, a member of the Advisory Council since 1917, 
put his own business to one side entirely, and poured the 
full flood of his splendid energy into the task laid down by 
Mr. Blair. To the three leaders Ryerson, Blair, and 
Ingersoll must go all credit for the remarkable record of 

To summarize: Exact reports, covering approximately 
one-half of the full activities of the organization, give a 
total of 505,190 four-minute speeches made to audiences 
totaling 202,454,514 people. This total does not cover the 
six campaigns from October 27, 1918, to the closing date 
of December 24th, nor does it include the first campaigns 
from May 22 to October 27, 1917. At a very reasonable 
estimate, these first campaigns added 40,000,000 to the 
total audience reached and not less than 70,000 to the 
number of speeches delivered, while the final six campaigns 
added certainly not less than 72,000,000 to the total audi- 
ence and 180,000 to the number of speeches. Adding these 
conservative estimates to the above incomplete reports, 
the following results are shown: 



Number of speeches given 755,190 

Total audience 314,454,514 

A very reasonable allowance for the considerable number 
of communities from which incomplete or no reports were 
received justifies an estimate of final totals of a million 
speeches heard by 400,000,000 individuals during the 
eighteen months' life of the organization an average of 
about 28,000 speeches, reaching more than 11,000,000 
people, during each of the 36 distinct campaigns covered 
by the 46 bulletins. 

And let it be borne in mind that these were no haphazard 
talks by nondescripts, but the careful, studied, and re- 
hearsed efforts of the best men in each community, each 
speech aimed as a rifle is aimed, and driving to its mark 
with the precision of a bullet. History should, and will, 
pay high tribute to the Four Minute Men, an organization 
unique in world annals, and as effective in the battle 
at home as was the onward rush of Pershing's heroes at 
St. Mihiel. 

It was, and is to-day, our proud claim that no other war 
organization, with the exception of the Food Commission, 
paid such large returns on a small investment as the Com- 
mittee on Public Information. The policy of almost nig- 
gardly economy, forced upon us by the enmity of Congress, 
compelled us to beg running expenses from individuals, as 
well as the gift of time and specialized ability. Men and 
women, coming to us with their offers of volunteer effort, 
were not only drained of their energy, but were actually 
induced to go into their pockets for cash contributions to 
carry on the work. This was true of many divisions, but 
it was peculiarly true in the case of the Four Minute Men. 
Here, for instance, are the amounts expended from presi- 
dential and Congressional appropriations: 



June, 1917- 
June, 1918 




$24,033 04 

$18,711 96 

$42 745 00 

Printing . 

29,107 06 

7,344 82 

36,451 88 

Slides . . 

7,300 08 

7,300 68 

Traveling . 

4,942 09 

1,000 00 

5,942 09 

General .... 

5,856 90 

3,258 55 

9,115 45 


$71,239 77 

$30,315 33 

$101,555 10 

What a showing! A national organization covering the 
country like a blanket with a maximum membership of 
75,000, working day in and day out, and conducted for a 
year and a half at an expense of scarcely more than $100,- 
000. Each state director and each local chairman had to 
maintain his own office, as the Committee allowed nothing 
for such expenses. Each speaker gave not only his time, 
but had to foot his own bills, no matter what the amount. 
These contributions, figured below, have been recorded 
exactly wherever possible, and in other cases have been 
estimated very carefully from accurate data. 

Actual expenses of state director's offices $ 177,090 

Expenses of local chairmen's offices; estimated at $10 
monthly for the known average number of chairmen 
(4,422 averaged over the entire eighteen months' 

period) 795,960 

Expenses of individual speakers, averaging ten speak- 
ers to the chairman and allowing for each speaker 
$2 monthly for all traveling and incidental expenses . 1,591,920 

Total of contributed expenses $2,564,970 

Thus it may be seen that the established amounts ex- 
pended from voluntary contributions were more than 



twenty-five times the expenditures from the official ap- 

These figures, however, are only part of the story. It 
is, of course, impossible to set an adequate monetary 
valuation upon services contributed so generously and so 
patriotically as were those of all the Four Minute Men, 
the motion-picture theaters, newspapers, churches, granges, 
lodges, labor unions, and other agencies which furthered 
the work. It is possible, however, and eminently proper 
to put into some concrete and tangible form the material 
value of this work in relation to the actual cost thereof to 
the government. 

It would not be reasonable to set a lower valuation than 
four dollars on the delivery of a four-minute speech, re- 
quiring the most painstaking and exact preparation and 
unusual skill in condensation and forcefulness of delivery. 

Not with any suggestion of undervaluing the inestimable 
co-operation of the theaters and other places in which 
speeches were delivered, but rather with a view to the 
most thorough conservatism, we will estimate a "rental 
value" for the delivery of each speech at one half the 
speakers' rate. 

In addition to the messages brought to the people by 
means of the spoken word, the Four Minute Men secured 
for the government publicity worth at least three-quarters 
of a million dollars. Articles containing the pith of each 
bulletin were sent out from headquarters and released 
through local chairmen and publicity managers in thou- 
sands of communities for use in the local papers. 

The average number of press clippings received at head- 
quarters from a single clipping bureau, covering only the 
larger newspapers of the country, was 873 a month, or 
more than 15,000 during the eighteen months' life of the 
organization. These clippings averaged certainly not less 
than 60 lines each, totaling 900,000 lines, which at a low 



rate for this type of publicity, if purchased, would have 
cost $225,000. 

Hundreds of newspapers mailed to headquarters from 
the smaller towns indicate that much larger space was 
consistently devoted to the government message in these 
places, while during the ban on public meetings, due to the 
influenza epidemic, newspapers in all parts of the country 
devoted sufficient space to carry daily four-minute mes- 
sages prepared for them by members of the organization. 
It is extremely conservative to estimate the total value 
of all this publicity at $750,000. 

A summary of all these items gives the following figures: 

Contributed expenditures $2,564,970 

One million speeches at $4 each 4,000,000 

"Rent" of theaters, etc., to deliver above 2,000,000 

Speeches (331) of traveling speakers 8,275 

Publicity contributed by press 750,000 

Grand total $9,313,245 

All this on a government investment of $101,555.10. 

No less an official than the President of the United States 
returned the thanks of the government to the Four Minute 
Men, and who shall say that the following tribute, impelled 
by sincere conviction, was not deserved: 

WASHINGTON, November 29, 1918. 

To all the Four Minute Men of the Committee on Public Information: 

I have read with real interest the report of your activities, and 
I wish to express my sincere appreciation of the value to the 
government of your effective and inspiring efforts. It is a re- 
markable record of patriotic accomplishment that an organiza- 
tion of 75,000 speakers should have carried on so extensive 
a work at a cost to the government of little more than $100,000 



for the eighteen months' period less than $1 yearly on an 
individual basis. Each member of your organization, in receiving 
honorable discharge from the service, may justly feel a glow of 
proper pride in the part that he has played in holding fast the 
inner lines. May I say that I, personally, have always taken the 
deepest and most sympathetic interest in your work, and have 
noted, from time to time, the excellent results you have procured 
for the various departments of the government. Now that this 
work has come to its conclusion and the name of the Four Minute 
Men (which I venture to hope will not be used henceforth by 
any similar organization) has become a part of the history of 
the Great War, I would not willingly omit my heartfelt testimony 
to its great value to the country, and indeed to civilization as 
a whole, during our period of national trial and triumph. I shall 
always keep in memory the patriotic co-operation and assistance 
accorded me throughout this period and shall remain deeply 
and sincerely grateful to all who, like yourselves, have aided so 
nobly in the achievement of our aims. 

Cordially and sincerely yours, 




DURING the Congressional hearing on our budget, 
which resolved itself into a searching inquiry into the 
work of the Committee, one of the Representatives asked 
if I did not think that the spectacle of American boys 
sailing for France was sufficient in itself to rouse the people 
of America. I answered that this very fact of departure 
for military service in a foreign land made it more impera- 
tive than ever that there should be a fundamental under- 
standing of the causes of the war and of the absolute justice 
of America's position. A wave of national feeling might 
carry us into the war and national passions and hatred 
might whip us on, but froth and dregs would be the only 
ultimate result. Such methods might carry a mob a city 
block to tear something down, but they would not bear a 
self-determining democracy along the road of travail and 
uttermost sacrifice for great ideals. Could we count on a 
national understanding of such ideals? Could we be sure 
that a hundred million the fathers, the mothers, the 
children of America, alien born and native alike under- 
stood well enough so that they would support one loan after 
another, would bear new burdens of taxation and send 
wave after wave of America's young manhood to die in 
Flanders fields? 

That the nation felt dimly that great issues were at 
stake was clear, but was it gripped by a conviction that 



those issues and their proper solutions were bound up with 
the permanent safety of America here and now and for- 
ever? It would have been blindness to assume such an 
understanding. Throughout our two and a half years of 
neutrality there had waged a daily battle of controversy, 
with press and public men alike divided. Some labored 
to range us at once on the side of the Allies, and another 
vigorous group, skilfully organized and cleverly directed, 
strenuously defended the Imperial German government. 
Public opinion was without shape and force. The country 
was in a state of mind in which it accepted the war and said, 
"The President has been patient; we are behind him; 
we are patriotic; and we fear a great danger." But the 
life-and-death character of the struggle was not under- 
stood. We felt that it had to be brought home to them as 
a matter of definite intellectual conviction. We wanted 
to reach the people through their minds, rather than 
through their emotions, for hate has its undesirable re- 
actions. We wanted to do it, not by over-emphasis of 
historical appeal, but by unanswerable arguments that 
would make every man and woman know that the war was 
a war of self-defense that had to be waged if free institu- 
tions were not to perish. 

How? There was no precedent to guide us; the ground 
was unbroken. The various belligerents had issued White 
Books, Yellow Books, and Blue Books, made up almost 
entirely of state papers. The publication of diplomatic 
documents covering our relations with Germany seemed, 
therefore, the eminently respectable, safe, and accepted 
thing to do. With the co-operation of the State Depart- 
ment, we began the project, Arthur Bullard being assigned 
to the task of selecting the documents. The farther we 
went the more it seemed clear that we would be firing 
very heavy ammunition, with the chance of a large per- 
centage of such bulky volumes being "duds." 



Big books were not what we wanted, and long, tedious 
state papers were not what we needed. Abruptly abandon- 
ing the original idea that dealt with archives and formal 
documents, we decided to go in for "popular pamphleteer- 
ing." What faced us, therefore, was the problem of pro- 
ceeding systematically with the work, of doing it with 
accuracy, with thorough scholarship, and with a full sense 
that what we put out would have the authority and re- 
sponsibility of a government publication. Billiard was 
needed in the Foreign Section, so what we had to look 
for was a university man, the practised historian, the writer 
skilled in investigation, one who knew America and Eu- 
rope equally well. It was at this moment that there -came 
into my hands a pamphlet containing a patriotic address 
given out in Minnesota by one Guy Stanton Ford. I 
have rarely read anything that made a more instant im- 
pression, for it had beauty without sacrifice of force, sim- 
plicity, remarkable sequence, and obvious knowledge of 
every detail of America's spiritual progress. I made in- 
quiries at once and found that Ford was head of the His- 
tory Department of the University of Minnesota and 
Dean of the Graduate School, and before that a professor 
of Modern European History at the University of Illinois 
after five years as an instructor at Yale. I wired him that 
he was "drafted" and to report immediately. Here again 
the value of quick decision was proved, for I would have 
wasted months in search without finding any one so ad- 
mirably fitted by temperament and training for the im- 
portant position to which Professor Ford was called. 

We were now prepared to initiate our first publication. 
Here we had a great advantage over similar organizations 
in England or other countries that had been drawn into 
the war. That advantage lay in the clear and moving 
address of President Wilson on April 2, 1917, before the 

Congress. A group of men at the University of Minnesota, 
8 101 


headed by Prof. W. S. Davis of the Department of History, 
set to work under Dean Ford's direction on the annotation 
of that message, with the essential facts swept together in 
the broad compass of the President's eloquent presentation. 
The work was quickly and skilfully done and happily 
gaged for easy comprehension and thorough conviction. 
What should we do as to printing and distribution? We 
studied the newspaper directories and estimated that we 
could reach the press of the country with an edition of 
twenty thousand. Then we would see and we did see. 
The press seized it and the consequent publicity over- 
whelmed us. The first day's mail was delivered to Professor 
Ford and his one clerk in a peach-basket. The next day 
there were two bushels of letters asking for copies. They 
came from all ranks and kinds of people; from boys going 
to the Officers' Reserve Training Camps, from fathers and 
mothers whose sons were going into service from farms and 
shops, banks and schools. One city superintendent wired 
for fifteen thousand so that it might go into every home in 
a community largely of foreign-born. As long as the war 
lasted the demand for the annotated war address of the 
President kept steadily up and the final figures at the end 
of our work were two and a half millions of this pamphlet 

When, with the aid of the Government Printing Office, we 
had dug ourselves out of this rush, we turned at once to 
the masterly introduction that Arthur Bullard had written 
to the proposed W r hite Book. It was just the exposition of 
America's cause that was needed. It dealt with the two 
great American traditions, the Monroe Doctrine and the 
Freedom of the Seas. It explained the American effort 
to substitute arbitration for bloodshed; it followed the 
purposes and hopes of our neutrality from beginning to 
end, analyzed every note in the diplomatic exchange that 

marked our effort to keep the peace, and chronicled faith- 



fully the bad faith of the Imperial German government, its 
intrigue in the United States, the course of the submarine 
warfare in fact, it was a simple, straightforward story 
based upon the facts and ideals of America. 

In authoritative judgment it stands to-day as the most 
moderate, reasoned, and permanent pamphlet put out by 
any government engaged in the war. And the way it was 
prepared was a cheering demonstration of citizens of a 
democracy doing its own defending and defining of its 
ideals. Bullard had the laboring oar, and the body of this 
anonymous pamphlet bears the imprint of his facile pen 
and clear brain. Sisson and Ford and I reviewed it after 
Ernest Poole had cast it into a popular form. Professors 
Shot well of Columbia and Becker of Cornell, who were in 
Washington on the National Board for Historical Service, 
shaped up certain points more sharply and judiciously. 
Then Secretary Lansing and, ultimately, President Wilson 
himself went over it and approved. It went forth under the 
title, How the War Came to America, the first of a proud 
series the Red, W T hite, and Blue books. We printed 
fifty thousand, but this time we were better prepared for 
the public demand that ultimately carried the circulation 
to six and a quarter millions in English and in translations. 
Some of the great dailies issued it as a Sunday supplement, 
and others in every part of the country ran it serially. 
It was one pamphlet we could never let go out of print. 

With these two pamphlets fairly swamping the Govern- 
ment Printing Office, we felt more clearly than ever that 
we were right in judging the need of the country for 
information clearly put with a sound scholarship behind 
every statement. Three series of pamphlets were ultimately 
decided on the Red, White, and Blue books, the War 
Information series, and the Loyalty leaflets. It was further 
decided that we would develop our own machinery for 
printing and distribution, as the Government Printing Office 



was overburdened and unable to keep pace with our de- 
mands. Our own frank and envelopes were more certain 
of securing attention than the too familiar Congressional 
frank, which many members willingly put at our disposal. 

I can only indicate the method pursued in issuing the 
several series. When the pamphlet was decided upon in 
conferences, the next question was the proper man, or 
men, to handle its preparation, and these men were then 
telegraphed a request to come to Washington. In no 
instance was there a refusal to serve, and not only is it 
my privilege to pay a high tribute to the devotion of 
individuals, but also to the patriotism of the universities, 
who loaned members of their faculties generously and whole- 
heartedly. The writers were given only one simple direc- 
tion, and that was to do their work so that they would not 
be ashamed of it twenty years later. When the pamphlet 
was finished it was submitted to a general examination 
and then referred to the various divisions of government 
for checking, and it is my pride to be able to say that in 
all the mass of matter issued by Professor Ford's division, 
dealing with thousands of facts, only one public charge 
of misstatement was ever voiced and this was followed 
by an apology. 

In the various series we set before ourselves three main 
aims: The first was to make America's own purposes and 
ideals clear both to ourselves and to the world, whether 
ally or enemy. The sane execution of this purpose, in- 
volving a presentation of what this great experiment in 
democracy meant to its own people and to all forward- 
looking peoples, had greater implications than the war 
needs of the moment. Through war the menace of 
autocracy made us conscious that here in the Western 
World we were following ideals that made us one with other 
great peoples and that separated us from the four in Middle 
Europe by a wide gulf. What we had accepted as unchal- 



lenged had to be redefined as well for the Brahmin of the 
Back Bay as for the Bolshevist of the Ghetto. When I 
think of the many voices that were heard before the war 
and are still heard, interpreting America from a class or 
sectional or selfish standpoint, I am not sure that, if the 
war had to come, it did not come at the right time for the 
preservation and reinterpretation of American ideals. A 
few years earlier would have found us still too absorbed 
in the problems of a frontier nation, too provincial to have 
responded unitedly to the world's cry of distress, too con- 
fident that the Atlantic was a barrier and not a hand. A 
decade or two later it might have found us unconsciously 
stratified in our own social organization and thinking, 
the prison-walks of class consciousness shutting out the 
visions of our nation's youth, with something too much 
gone of that abounding faith in ourselves and our institu- 
tions that had been our heritage from the eighteenth cen- 
tury, preserved by the pioneers and nation-builders of the 
fading Western frontiers. 

Coming when it did, it found us ready to respond with 
the self-abandon of youth to great visions, and to direct 
our policies and weigh our actions with the ripened wisdom 
of maturity. President Wilson and his ultimate place in 
American history may now be a subject of debate, but 
there is one service that rises above the issues of war and 
partizanship, and that is that, in this transition period, of 
which the war made us conscious, he spoke the language 
of the New American instinct with the spirit of all our 
past history and traditions. 

In this first series on our aims and purposes may be 
listed, How the War Came to America, The Battle Line of 
Democracy, War Labor and Peace, Some Recent Addresses 
of the President, all in the Red, White, and Blue series. In 
the War Information series, the War Message and Facts 
Behind It, The Nation in Arms (two addresses by Secre- 



taries Lane and Baker); The Great War: From Spectator 
to Participant, by Prof. A. C. McLaughlin of Chicago; 
American Loyalty by American Citizens of German Descent, 
Lieber and Schurz, and American Interest in Popular Gov- 
ernment Abroad, both by Prof. Evarts B. Greene of the 
University of Illinois; American and Allied Ideals, by Prof. 
Stuart P. Sherman of the University of Illinois; The War 
for Peace, compiled by Arthur D. Coll, secretary of the 
American Peace Society; and America's War Aims and 
Peace Terms, by Prof. Carl Becker of Cornell University. 
In the Loyalty leaflets could be counted Judge Buffington's 
Friendly Words to Foreign Born; Labor and the War, by 
Prof. John R. Commons of Wisconsin; and Plain Issues 
of the War, by Elihu Root. 

Almost equally important from the standpoint of the 
unremitting prosecution of the war to a decisive finish 
was a thorough presentation of the aims, methods, and 
ideals of the dynastic and feudal government of Germany. 
Upon no pamphlets did we lavish so much care and 
scholarship as this series, and the pamphlets, as a group, 
proceeded logically and remorselessly to tear the mask of 
civilization and modernity from the medievally minded, 
medievally organized Prussian militaristic state that was 
dominating Germany and Central Europe and threatening 
the world. Disregarding the order of publication, which 
was by_no means accidental, this group was divided as 
follows: In the Red, White, and Blue series, The Presi- 
dent's Flag Day Address with Evidence of German Plans 
and Conquest and Kultur, both prepared by Profs. Wallace 
Notestein and E. E. Stoll of the University of Minnesota; 
German War Practices and German Treatment of Conquered 
Territory, both by Profs. D. C. Munroe of Princeton, G. 
C. Sellery of Wisconsin, and A. C. Krey of Minnesota; 
German Plots and Intrigues, by Profs. E. C. Sperry of Syra- 
cuse and W. M. West, the historian. In the War In- 



formation series, The German Government of Germany, by 
Prof. C. D. Hazen of Columbia; The War of Self-defense, 
by Secretaries Lansing and Louis F. Post; The German War 
Code, by G. W. Scott (formerly of Columbia) and Prof. 
J. W. Garner of Illinois; German Militarism, by Charles 
Altschul; Why America Fights Germany, by Prof. J. P. 
Tatlock of Leland Stanford University; and The German 
Bolshevik Conspiracy, by Edgar Sisson, our representative 
in Russia. In the Loyalty leaflets, The Prussian System, 
by Frederic C. Walcott of the Food Administration, was 
an admirable thumb-nail sketch in this series. 

Taken together, these pamphlets make the most sober 
and terrific indictment ever drawn by one government of 
the political and military system of another government. 
It was a serious business to draw it; it was a highly im- 
portant thing not only that it should sway the opinion of 
the moment, but that it should stand in the court of all 
time. To tamper with the opinion of an essentially fair- 
minded nation in any crisis is the ready device of charla- 
tans and demagogues, and neither they nor their works 
have ever survived that moment when Truth dispels the 
mists of momentary and misguided passion. Fortunately, 
the Germans had made their own record, and from that 
there was and can be no appeal. We could and did give 
them their own day in court; let them reveal their own 
purposes, describe their own methods, glorify their own 
guilt, and it is their rulers and leaders that have been swept 
into oblivion. 

When I recall the mad swirl of the Washington days, the 
pressure we were under to do this or to do that, to publish 
or republish this address or that pamphlet, to indorse some 
movement or idea, I am cheerful and a bit amazed at 
our success in avoiding pitfalls. For this we may never 
receive credit, least of all from the perfervid patriots who 
would have smeared with blood every page we published, 



or disfigured it by the distorted fancy they were willing 
to accept for fact. Insistent people who know how to 
save the country always throng to Washington even in 
peace-times, and in war-times we sometimes had to stand 
on tiptoe to see over their heads the great, grim, honest, 
unselfish nation behind them. And it was to the heart and 
mind of that nation that we directed our appeals and 
their response was our reward. 

The third group of pamphlets has as a purpose the giving 
in convenient form of information which would help in a 
constructive way in the daily tasks of a nation at war. 
The National Service Handbook, edited by Dr. J. J. Coss 
and James Gutmann of Columbia University, published 
in the summer of 1917, was just such a compendium about 
war-work and war organizations and served as a helpful 
guide to the thousands who could not enter the ranks and 
yet wanted to serve in some capacity, no matter how 
humble. The War Cyclopedia, published afterward, not 
only brought such information up to date, but made avail- 
able, in compact form, all the information on war topics and 
policies that any speaker or writer might want at hand. 
Professors Paxson of Wisconsin, Corwin of Princeton, and 
Harding of Indiana, with the aid of scores of scholars 
throughout the land, did a permanently worth-while piece 
of work under great stress for time and space. Together 
with the syllabus, we published The Study of the Great War, 
by Professor Harding, which became a text-book in schools, 
colleges, and cantonments. Our last pamphlet, in distri- 
bution when the armistice came, had moved us forward 
into new ground by summarizing our peace terms and the 
chief expressions of American and Allied statesmen on the 
League of Nations. Our one disappointment was that the 
second edition of The War Cyclopedia, then in the press, 
never appeared. Perhaps an explanation of delay is due 
to individuals and organizations, particularly to the several 



hundred colleges that planned to use it as a text-book for 
the Student Army Training Corps. From July 1, 1918, we 
carried forward our domestic work on a limited Congres- 
sional appropriation. Foreseeing difficulties, we had asked 
that receipts from those publications on which a nominal 
cost price had been set might come into our receipts 
for further use and later accounting. The usual precedents 
had been followed, however, and all receipts, except from 
the film division, went into the Treasury, and nothing but 
another Act of Congress could make them available to 
our use. The net result was that the more successful we 
were, and the greater the demand for our publications, even 
though we charged for some, the more quickly we ex- 
hausted our fixed appropriation and brought our activities 
to an end. 

Each pamphlet has its own story from the first sugges- 
tion through its execution by the best qualified scholar. 
For many of them I must refer to the plain but significant 
table in the appendix, and simply renew an expression of 
my own personal sense of obligation to Guy Stanton Ford 
and the distinguished leaders of thought who served with 
him. The figures will tell something of their usefulness, 
but not all. These pamphlets became an arsenal from 
which speakers and newspapers drew whole batteries of 
speeches and editorials and special articles. They helped 
fill out many pages of privately published patriotic col- 
lections and have even found their place in widely used 
text-books in history and civics. Many a good and mis- 
informed citizen, who had an unformed but vivid impression 
that the "Creel Committee" was some iniquity of the 
devil, took with his breakfast a daily diet of our material 
from the same journal that had given him this impression, 
met us again at lunch when his children came home with 
what the teacher had given them from material we pre- 
pared, heard us again through our Four Minute Men or- 



ganization when he went to the "movies," where our 
films might be part of the program, and rose to local 
prominence by the speeches he drew from the pamphlets 
of that other useful organization, the Committee on Public 
Information. Like the truant boy who ran away from the 
schoolmaster, Hugh Toil, he found us, recognized and 
unrecognized, at every turn of the road. 

This material went out almost exclusively by request, 
either from individuals or responsible organizations, such 
as defense councils or the Loyalty Legion in Wisconsin. 
Even Congressmen, after the first few months, were fur- 
nished not with the pamphlets, but with return postal- 
cards on which was printed a list of our publications, any 
two of which could be checked as desired by his constitu- 
ents. This arrangement was a means of conserving our 
limited resources and gave us a distribution to real readers. 

In only one case did we vary from this program of dis- 
tribution, and that was when we put in the hands of the 
trusty Boy Scouts several million copies of the President's 
Flag Day address with annotations on the German plans. 
The boys delivered it directly to householders and were 
to secure their promise to read it and pass it on. The boys 
did their work faithfully, but reported that they partly 
failed because they could not get the promise to pass on 
the pamphlet to some other reader! 

The States Section of the National Defense Council was 
especially active in bringing our material to the attention 
of state and county defense organizations. Newspapers in 
all parts of the country willingly carried descriptive lists 
without charge, and the information syndicate headed by 
Frederick Haskins in Washington gave us publicity on 
the front page of many great dailies. 

Even more important, in the early days when Professor 
Ford was first preparing pamphlets, was the support and 

aid given by the National Board for Historical Service, 



through which the historians of the country organized per- 
haps more effectively than any similar group of scholars. 
It was of great value to this division throughout the war 
to have available the judgment and ripe scholarship of 
men like Shotwell of Columbia, Greene of Illinois, Jameson 
of The American Historical Review, Munro of Princeton, 
Leland, secretary of the American Historical Association, 
A. C. Coolidge and F. J. Turner of Harvard, Schafer of 
Oregon, Johnson of Teachers College, Lingelbach of Penn- 
sylvania, Hull of Cornell, Dodd of Chicago, Fish of Wis- 
consin, Hunt of the Library of Congress, Hazen of Co- 
lumbia, Connor of North Carolina, Victor Clark of the 
Carnegie Institution, Notestein of Minnesota, and S. B. 
Harding of Indiana. The last named joined our staff in No- 
vember, 1917, and remained throughout the war as an 
able assistant to Professor Ford in all the multitudinous 
work of checking and editing the pamphlets. 

Our efforts were supported and supplemented by so 
many organizations that it is difficult to single out many. 
Excellent series of pamphlets were put out by the universi- 
ties of Chicago, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Illinois, and 
Columbia. Publishing-houses gave precedence to patriotic 
books without thought of profit and offered us all their 
material at the cost of printing. 

Our last and perhaps our most unique and effective pub- 
lication was The National School Service, a sixteen-page 
semi-monthly periodical going free of charge to every 
public-school teacher in the United States about 600,- 
000 in all. We foresaw a time when, perhaps, if the 
war with its burdens and losses continued, the national 
morale would need the support of a message that went 
without fail into every home. For this purpose there was 
no other agency so effective, so sure, as the public schools 
with their twenty millions of pupils. Furthermore, so many 

governmental and national organizations were flooding the 



schools, as they had flooded the press, with their material 
that there was danger of confusion, conflict, and ineffec- 
tiveness. Could not the story of the war, of America's 
effort and ideals, of the work of the Red Cross, the Food 
Administration, the Liberty Loan, the War Savings 
Stamps, Public Health, School Gardens, and a score of 
other activities be brought together as a national unified 
program and treated in a way that would make it pre- 
sentable in the schoolroom and effective in the homes? 
It was worth the effort, cost what it might in time and 
money. With the support of the National Educational 
Association, we engaged the co-operation of all the de- 
partments in Washington and launched the first publica- 
tion in which the national government of the United 
States had ever attempted to reach every public school 
and home in the land. W. C. Bagley of Teachers College 
was enlisted as editor-in-chief, and J. W. Searson of Kansas 
Agricultural College as managing editor, and a staff of 
specialists prepared all the material so that it could be 
presented effectively in every kind of school from the 
primary to the high-school. Special editions were arranged 
for the Red Cross, War Savings, etc. Junior Four Minute 
Men contests were organized and supported with ma- 
terial through special supplements prepared by the staff 
and the Division of Four Minute Men. I shall always 
treasure the memory of the gratitude with which the under- 
paid and overworked school-teachers received National 
School Service; most of all, the letters that came from iso- 
lated rural teachers in out-of-the-way valleys and on the 
far reaches of the prairies. The national government had 
reached out and placed a hand on their shoulder to en- 
courage them and to ask for their aid and support. They 
saw a new vision and a new, vitalizing mission. At the 
end, we were moved by the protests against discontinuing 
National School Service to present the matter to the 


President, who promptly made available enough funds to 
continue it to the end of the year under the Department 
of the Interior with the same efficient staff of editors. 

A number of the principal pamphlets were put into other 
languages German, Italian, the Scandinavian tongues, 
Spanish, Portuguese, Bohemian, Polish, Yiddish, etc. 
and given careful distribution through the clubs and 
churches of the foreign-language groups in America, while 
the translations themselves were sent to the various coun- 
tries to be printed on daily presses and circulated by our 

It is perfectly evident that we had to exercise care in 
making these translations, especially the German versions. 
We had in mind here not only our German-reading public, 
but the Germans of the Empire. We hoped to make them 
our readers if not in war-times, at least ultimately, when 
they might really seek to understand the voice of a world 
that had united against them. No awkward phrase or 
American colloquial German could be allowed to excite 
ridicule and rob our case of its full effect. A waif of the 
war, a distinguished German scholar, who had lived long 
in England before coming to America, did the work, and 
did it so well that his translation of How the War Came to 
America, and of the President's addresses, was adopted 
by some schools as substitutes for the sycophantic texts 
about modern Germany and its Hohenzollern readers. 
This man was a technical "enemy alien," but if any one 
doubts his spiritual kinship with the ideals of America 
and the Allies, they should read his own tragic story under 
the title, "A Man Without a Country," in The Ladies' 
Home Journal for September, 1917. 

Besides these translations, special material was pub- 
lished for the foreign-language groups. In selecting this 
material we had the benefit of advice from our represent- 
atives abroad and our connection with the leaders of the 



patriotic groups of the foreign-born in the United States. 
While sternly revealing the methods and principles of 
Germany, we emphasized again the ideals of America, of 
the America that had drawn the foreigners to its shores, 
and that was the home of their children, for we knew that, 
whatever their own transplanted prejudices, the great mass 
of the foreign-born, like the native Americans, were loyal 
to the land of their children. An unwise use of the dis- 
cretion granted us in presenting America's cause might 
easily have helped hammer these foreign groups into per- 
manently aggrieved and hostile elements. 

All in all, more than seventy-five million copies of these 
pamphlets went into American homes, each one a printed 
bullet that found its mark. This does not include the cir- 
culation given by the metropolitan dailies that printed 
many of the pamphlets in full. Nor does it take account 
of the hundreds of thousands of copies printed by state 
organizations such as the Department of Education in 
Michigan, or by private individuals at their own cost. 

It is a matter of pride to the Committee on Public In- 
formation, as it should be to America, that the directors 
of English, French, and Italian propaganda were a unit 
in agreeing that our literature was remarkable above all 
others for its brilliant and concentrated effectiveness. 

All this labor of preparation, publication, and distribu- 
tion was heavy and exacting, but there is a gleam or two 
when I view it in retrospect. I thought at one time that 
we were in direct touch with all the people who knew how 
to win the war. The White House and the War Depart- 
ment may dispute this, but certainly all who thought the 
Germans could be overwhelmed with printer's ink or ora- 
tory landed on our door-step either in person or through 
the intermediacy of the postmen. What we did not get 
directly we got by reference from every other war agency 
in Washington. We had considerable faith in the power 



of the press, but it was all quite overtopped by the old 
German-American who pleaded with us to send him up 
to the front-line trenches accompanied by one man who 
could run a hand-press. Then there was the considerable 
number who felt sure that some poem or song or sermon 
not infrequently of their own composition would, if 
printed and distributed to the whole nation, set the people 
on fire with patriotic ardor. 

Such material came in almost predictable waves, two 
weeks of poetry, then two weeks of sermons. If a vigorous 
article especially one with a large element of imagination 
about a German invasion appeared in some journal of 
wide circulation, we knew we would receive it, clipped and 
sent in from all quarters as the best possible thing to which 
we could give government sanction. Some of the more 
discriminating suggestions were helpful. Some of the 
material submitted was too valuable to lose and we sought 
always to direct the writer toward an effective avenue of 
publicity. We sought invariably to return the manu- 
script with a courteous acknowledgment, for we knew it 
came from people who really wanted to help "to do their 
bit," was the phrase penned so often by hands that could 
never hope to handle a musket. I remember one woman 
who sent in a poem with a letter in which she told how 
two of her sons were in the army and she, at seventy, was 
earning her living by washing. Still, she wanted "to do 
her bit" and had written this poem. You may be sure 
that she had a special letter that convinced her we some- 
times appreciated poetry by other standards than those 
of the Browning circle. 

All these letters were of immense value to us, for they 
kept our hand on the pulse of the land, letting us know the 
tides of hope and earnest purpose that were surging through 
a great country. Often enough there was evidence of the 
rapid spread of idle or vicious rumors or of the baneful 



influence of some utterance of a picayune politician with 
a statesman's responsibilities, but this was a momentary 
phase or a purely surface matter, and the great mass of 
the nation responded over and over again to every appeal 
to their sturdy and enlightened patriotism. 

I know the distressing illiteracy revealed by the draft 
and I am disturbed by all the inadequacies of the public- 
school system with its low salaries and immature and ever- 
changing teaching corps, but I also know that the press 
or politician who appeals to ignorance and prejudice is 
not reckoning on the reading and thinking and dominant 
mass of the American people. Great issues clearly put 
will always arouse them and there is no need to talk in 
words of one syllable to the man in the street. He wants 
the truth and will read to get it far more closely than many 
a man whom fortune has favored by putting him in a 
swivel-chair behind a glass-topped desk. I know, for we 
tried it out on a nation-wide scale, and that is why the 
publications of Professor Ford's division will remain a 
worthy evidence of the Committee's work in war education. 



>ERSHING'S CRUSADERS," "America's Answer," 
and "Under Four Flags" are feature films that will 
live long in the memory of the world, for they reached 
every country, and were not only the last word in photo- 
graphic art, but epitomized in thrilling, dramatic sequence 
the war effort of America. Yet these pictures, important 
as they were, represented only a small portion of the work 
of the Division of Films, a work that played a vital part 
in the world-fight for public opinion. A steady output, 
ranging from one-reel subjects to seven-reel features, and 
covering every detail of American life, endeavor, and pur- 
pose, carried the call of the country to every community 
in the land, and then, captioned in all the various languages, 
went over the seas to inform and enthuse the peoples of 
Allied and neutral nations. 

At the very outset, it was obvious that the motion picture 
had to be placed on the same plane of importance as the 
written and spoken word. There were, however, many 
obstacles in the way that prevented straightforward, 
driving action. In the first place, it was our original hope 
that we could put our reliance upon commercial producers, 
thus saving the time and expense that necessarily attended 
the creation of new machinery. This theory had to be 
abandoned, for the War Department issued a flat ruling 
that only the photographers in actual service would be 

permitted to take pictures of any kind either on the firing- 
9 117 


line in France or in the cantonments and other branches of 
the military establishment in the United States. Aside 
from the unwisdom of allowing individuals in private em- 
ploy to have free run of aviation-fields and munition- 
factories, there was also the physical impossibility of hand- 
ling the army of individual photographers that equitable 
representation would have demanded. 

Going into the matter fully, we discovered that there 
was to be a photographic section of the Signal Corps, with 
first purpose to serve the fighting force and a second pur- 
pose to make pictures for the historical record desired by 
the War College. The Committee then went to the Secre- 
tary of War with representations as to the publicity value 
of much of the material that would be gathered. It was 
pointed out that since protection of military secrets barred 
private photographers, it was both wise and proper that 
we should have the right to go through the Signal Corps 
photographs, selecting such as were suitable for public 
exhibition. The contention was granted by Secretary 
Baker, and the Committee on Public Information was 
recognized by the War Department as the one authorized 
medium for the distribution of Signal Corps photographs, 
still pictures as well as "movies." 

All of which seemed encouraging enough until investi- 
gation developed the sad news that the Photographic 
Section of the Signal Corps was a hope rather than a fact. 
Looking after film matters for the Committee at the time 
were Kendall Banning, formerly editor of System, and 
Mr. Lawrence E. Rubel, a young Chicago business man, 
both of the temperament that found inaction intolerable. 
The two made a survey of the photographers of the United 
States, motion and still, and urged selections upon the 
Signal Corps until an adequate force had been assembled 
for duty at home and abroad. Mr. Banning accepted a 
commission as major in the army, and as the distribution 




of still pictures occupied Mr. RubePs full time, the motion- 
picture end was turned over to Mr. Louis B. Mack, a 
Chicago lawyer, and Mr. Walter Niebuhr, both volunteers. 
The routine, as finally worked out, was as follows: The 
negatives of still and motion pictures taken in France and 
in the United States by the uniformed photographers of 
the Signal Corps were delivered, undeveloped, to the Chief 
of Staff for transmission to the War College division. 
The material was "combed" and such part as was decided 
to be proper for public exhibition was then turned over to 
the Committee on Public Information in the form of 
duplicate negatives. The Committee, out of its own funds, 
made prints from these negatives. 

Our first hope was to avoid all appearance of competition 
with the commercial producers, and as a consequence the 
bulk of material was distributed fairly and at a nominal 
price among the film-news weeklies. Experts were then 
engaged to put the remainder into feature form, and these 
pictures were handed over to the State Councils of Defense 
and to the various patriotic societies. They were not 
shown in motion-picture theaters, nor was admission 
charged except in the case of benefits for a particular pur- 
pose. Among the early features thus produced were: 

The 1917 Recruit, 2 editions (training of the National Army). 

The Second Liberty Loan. 

Ready for the Fight (Artillery and Cavalry maneuvers). 

Soldiers of the Sea (Marine Corps in training). 

Torpedo-boat Destroyers (naval maneuvers). 


Army and Navy Sports. 

The Spirit of 1917 (the largest maneuver staged in America; 
an attack by the Jackies at Lake Bluff upon Fort Sheridan, 

In a Southern Camp (general army maneuvers). 

The Lumber Jack (showing the growth of the Lumber Jack 
Regiment for reconstruction work in Europe). 



The Medical Officers' Reserve Corps in Action (showing the 
development of the Medical Corps and training). 

Fire and Gas (showing maneuvers of the new Thirtieth En- 
gineer Regiment). 

American Ambulances (complete display of ambulance work). 

Labor's Part in Democracy's War (labor-union activities in 
the war). 

Annapolis (naval officers hi the making). 

Shipbuilding (construction of all types of ships). 

Making of Big Guns. 

Making of Small Arms. 

Making of Uniforms for the Soldiers. 

Activities of the Engineers. 

Woman's Part in the War. 

The Conquest of the Air (airplane and balloon maneuvers) 

As time went on, however, it was seen that this method 
of distribution not only put an unnecessary burden of 
expense upon the government, but that it was failing ab- 
solutely to place the pictorial record of America's war 
progress before more than a small percentage of the motion- 
picture audiences of the world. The growth of the Signal 
Corps's great Photographic Section was producing an enor- 
mous amount of material, both in the United States and 
France, possessed of the very highest propaganda value, 
and the existing arrangement wasted what it did not 
fritter away. Mr. Charles S. Hart, about to take a com- 
mission in the army, was persuaded to assume full charge 
of the work of reorganization, and too much credit cannot 
be given him for his accomplishment. He took an idea 
and a policy, and with courage, imagination, and driving 
genius he evolved a world machinery and built a business 
that handled millions, all without a single breakdown at 
any point. 

One of Mr. Hart's first determinations was to take the 
cream of the material received from the Signal Corps, put 

it into great seven-reel features designed to set before the 



people a comprehensive record of war progress both in the 
United States and in France, and to have the government 
itself present the pictures. In plain, the Committee on Pub- 
lic Information went into the motion-picture business as a 
producer and exhibitor. The funds received from these 
sources were not to represent profit in any sense of the 
word. Every cent was to go to the manufacture and dis- 
tribution of the huge amount of film that we were compelled 
to distribute without return in other countries as part of 
the educational campaign of the United States. Wherever 
possible this foreign distribution was made through the 
regular commercial channels, but there were various na- 
tions where these channels did not exist and where free 
showings were a necessity. It was also the case that we 
were put to heavy expense by the policy that sent all of 
the Committee's films, free of charge, to the encampments 
in the United States as well as to the picture-shows on 
the firing-line in France. The other belligerent countries 
all marketed their film. Why, then, was it not proper for 
the United States to use its own product in an effort to 
lighten the taxpayers' load, especially when commercial 
distribution meant 100 per cent, exhibition? 

Our first feature-film was "Pershing's Crusaders," and 
at intervals of six weeks we produced "America's Answer" 
and "Under Four Flags." The policy decided upon was 
this : first, direct exhibition of the feature by the Committee 
itself in the larger cities in order to establish value and 
create demand; second, sale, lease, or rental of the feature 
to the local exhibitors. This activity was placed in the 
hands of Mr. George Bowles, an experienced theatrical 
and motion-picture manager, who had made a name for 
himself in exploiting "The Birth of a Nation." Mr. 
Bowles operated as many as eight road companies in dif- 
ferent sections of the country at one time, each with its 

own advertising, advance sales, and business management. 



The utmost care was taken with these "official showings," 
for what we sought was an impressiveness that would lift 
them out of the class of ordinary motion-picture produc- 
tions in the minds of the public. L. S. Rothapfel, of the 
Rialto and Rivoli theaters in New York City, gave us his 
own aid and that of his experts in the matter of scenic ac- 
cessories, orchestra, and incidental music, while for "Amer- 
ica's Answer" Frank C. Yohn painted a great canvas, 
so much a thing of beauty and inspiration that it thrilled 
audiences into enthusiasm for the motion pictures that 

"Pershing's Crusaders" was officially presented in 
twenty-four cities, "America's Answer" in thirty -four, 
and "Under Four Flags" in nine. Each of these so-called 
official showings extended over the period of a week or 
more and was presented at municipal halls, well-known 
legitimate or motion-picture theaters centrally located in 
the respective cities. Wide and intensive publicity and 
advertising campaigns were conducted by representatives 
on the spot by means of department-store window and 
hotel-lobby displays, street-car cards, and banners and 
newspaper space donated by local advertisers, etc. This 
campaign, under the direction of Mr. Marcus A. Beeman, 
also included circularization and personal interviews with 
representatives, officials, and leading citizens, clubs, so- 
cieties, and organizations, including large industrial plants 
and firms. Churches, schools, chambers of commerce, 
political and social clubs, Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tion, Red Cross, Liberty Loan, and fraternal organizations 
were among those included in the lists. 

Taking, for example, the official presentations in New 
York City "Pershing's Crusaders" was shown at the 
Lyric Theater; "America's Answer" was shown at the 
George M. Cohan Theater; "Under Four Flags" was 

shown simultaneously at the Rivoli and Rialto theaters on 



Broadway. Each of these showings was preceded by a press 
campaign of about two weeks, several hundred twenty- 
four-sheet, three-sheet, and one-sheet posters were posted, 
and thousands of window-cards were displayed, invitations 
were sent to all local dignitaries, and the showings were 
attended by representatives of the French, British, and 
Italian High Commissions. In Washington, members of 
Congress, the President, his Cabinet, and many other 
officials attended, all of which facts were used extensively 
in advertising the features for general distribution. 

As features did not consume the whole of the Signal Corps 
material by any means, we decided upon weekly releases, 
and in order to give this the highest interest as well as to 
emphasize the fact of partnership, we entered into co- 
operative arrangements with the representatives of Eng- 
land, France, and Italy. Each of the four nations con- 
tributed a fourth of the material and shared in the profits, 
and the joint product went forth as the Allied War Review. 

Not one of the other governments, it may be explained, 
made free gifts of its pictures to private enterprise, but 
handled them upon commercial lines entirely, for in the 
motion-picture world revenue and circulation are synony- 
mous. It was the first contention of the representatives of 
the English, French, and Italians that the War Review 
should be offered to the highest bidder, but the Committee 
on Public Information insisted that the four film-news 
weeklies of the United States should be given prior con- 
sideration. As a consequence, these four companies the 
Hearst-Pathe, the Universal, the Mutual, and the Gau- 
mont were offered a weekly release of 2,000 feet of firing- 
line film at a flat rate of $5,000. The representatives of 
the Allied governments felt that this price robbed them of 
fair and demonstrated profits, but the Committee on Public 
Information gained its point through insistence. 

At that period in the negotiations when the largest of 



the weeklies had accepted the contract, one company ad- 
dressed a series of letters to various officials of the govern- 
ment, complaining bitterly of the arrangement, not only 
insisting that the films should be given free of charge, but 
even hinting at a subsidy. As a consequence of this atti- 
tude, the Official War Review was offered to the motion- 
picture industry as a whole, as was the case with the 
feature-film. Every exchange was given an opportunity 
to bid, and the Pathe Exchange, Inc., was awarded the 
contract on these terms: Eighty per cent, of proceeds and 
a guaranty of showing in 25,000 theaters as a minimum. 

Even after the making of the feature-films and the 
Official War Review there remained a certain amount of 
material that had as high publicity value as any of the 
other footage, and we placed this at the disposal of the news 
weeklies at the nominal cost of one dollar a foot, an equi- 
table arrangement that worked. 

With the tremendous advertising gained from these 
governmental showings in the principal cities we were 
then able to go direct to the exhibitor in the certainty of 
his keen interest. Our aim was to secure the widest pos- 
sible distribution of the government films in the shortest 
possible time. To this end every effort was made to elim- 
inate the competitive idea from the minds of exhibitors, 
and wherever possible to secure simultaneous showings in 
houses which ordinarily competed for pictures. 

Mr. Denis Sullivan and his assistant, Mr. George Meeker, 
who were in charge of domestic distribution through motion- 
picture houses, inaugurated a proportionate selling plan 
whereby the rental charged every house was based on the 
average income derived from that particular house. By 
this method the small house as well as the large one could 
afford to run the government films. The result of these 
efforts to obtain the widest possible showing for govern- 
ment films was amazingly successful, and the showing of 



"America's Answer" broke all records for range of dis- 
tribution of any feature of any description ever marketed. 

On the basis of twelve thousand motion-picture theaters 
in the United States, over one-half the total number of 
theaters in the country exhibited the Official War Review 
and nearly that portion of "America's Answer." In the 
film industry a booking of 40 per cent, of the theaters is 
considered as 100 per cent, distribution because of the close 
proximity of a great number of theaters, rendering them 
dependent on the same patronage that is, theaters are 
plotted as available in zones rather than as individual 
theaters; thus three theaters in one zone present but one 
possible booking because of the identity of clientele. 
Taking this into consideration, the distribution of govern- 
ment features approximated 80 per cent, and 90 per cent, 
rather than 50 per cent, distribution, although on "Amer- 
ica's Answer," in certain territories such as New York and 
Seattle, the percentage of total theaters booked reached 
over 60 per cent, and 54 per cent., respectively, which on 
the above basis would equal 100 per cent, distribution. 

The success of the feature-films and the Official War 
Review are best indicated by the following figures: 

"Pershing's Crusaders" $181,741 69 

"America's Answer" 185,144 30 

"Under Four Flags" 63,946 48 

Official War Review 334,622 35 

Our Bridge of Ships 992 41 

U. S. A. Series 13,864 98 

Our Colored Fighters 640 60 

News Weekly 15,150 00 

Miscellaneous sales. . 56,641 58 

Total sales from films $852,744 30 

It was not only the case that the entire output of the 
Division of Films was handed over to the Foreign Section 



for circulation in the various countries of the world, but 
the Educational Department saw to it that all of the Com- 
mittee pictures were furnished free of charge to every 
proper organization in the United States. 

The films were loaned to army and navy stations, edu- 
cational and patriotic institutions, without charge except 
transportation. Other organizations and individuals were 
usually charged one dollar per reel for each day used. 
When it is considered that the average reel costs forty 
dollars for raw stock and printing, and that the average 
life of a reel is about two hundred runs, it can be readily 
seen that this charge of one dollar per reel barely covered 
cost. For the purpose of comparison the leading motion- 
picture houses in New York pay as high as three thousand 
dollars for the use of one picture for one week's run. 

On June 1, 1918, the Division of Films formed a scenario 
department to experiment with an interesting theory. 
The departments at Washington had been in the habit of 
contracting for the production of films on propaganda 
subjects and then making additional contracts to secure 
a more or less limited circulation of the pictures when pro- 
duced. The general attitude of motion-picture exhibitors 
was that propaganda pictures were uninteresting to audi- 
ences and could have no regular place in their theaters. 
The theory of the Division of Films was that the fault lay 
in the fact that propaganda pictures had never been prop- 
erly made, and that if skill and care were employed in the 
preparation of the scenarios the resultant pictures could 
secure place in regular motion-picture programs. Pro- 
ducers were at first skeptical, but in the end they agreed 
to undertake the production of one-reel pictures for which 
the division was to supply the scenario, the list of locations, 
and permits for filming the same, and to give every possible 
co-operation, all without charge. The finished picture 
became the sole property of the producer, who obligated 



himself merely to give it the widest possible circulation 
after it had been approved by the Division of Films. 
Mr. Rufus Steele was given charge of the new venture, 
and while many difficulties had to be overcome, the theory 
proved sound. 

The following one-reel pictures were produced: 

By the Paramount-Bray Pictograph: 

Says Uncle Sam: Keep 'Em Singing and Nothing Can Lick 

'Em the purpose and method of the vocal training of 

the army and the navy. 
Says Uncle Sam: I Run the Biggest Life-Insurance Company 

on Earth story of the War Risk Insurance Bureau. 
Says Uncle Sam: A Girl's a Man for A' That story of 'women 

in war-work. 
Says Uncle Sam: I'll Help Every Willing Worker Find a 

Job story of the United States Employment Service. 
By thePatheCo.: 

Solving the Farm Problem of the Nation story of the United 

States Boys' Working Reserve. 

Feeding the Fighter how the army was supplied with food. 
By the Universal Co.: 

Reclaiming the Soldiers' Duds the salvage work of the War 

The American Indian Gets Into the War Game how the 

Indian took his place, both in the military forces and in 

food production. 
By C. L. Chester: 

Schooling Our Fighting Mechanics work of the Committee 

on Education and Special Training of the War Department. 
There Shall Be No Cripples rehabilitation work of the Sur- 
geon-General's Office. 
Colored Americans activities of the negroes, both in the 

military forces and in war work at home. 
It's an Engineers' War work of the Engineers' training- 
camps of the War Department. 
Finding and Fixing the Enemy certain work of the Engineer 

Corps of the War Department. 
Waging War in Washington the method of government 




All the Comforts of Home methods of War Department in 
providing necessities and conveniences for soldiers. 

Masters for the Merchant Marine development of both 
officers and men for the new merchant navy. 

The College for Camp Cooks thorough training given men 
who were to prepare the food for the soldiers. 

Rail-less Railroads work of the Highway Transport Com- 

The following pictures, of more than one reel in length, 
were made by private producers from our scenarios and 
under our supervision: 

By C. L. Chester: 

"The Miracle of the Ships," a six-reel picture covering in de- 
tail the construction of the carrier ships at Hog Island and 
other yards, and showing every detail of construction. 

By The W. W. Hodkinson Corporation: 

"Made in America," an eight-reel picture telling the full story 
of the Liberty Army. It follows the soldier through every 
stage of the draft and through every step of his military, 
physical, and social development and into the actual com- 
bat overseas. Such a picture was greatly desired by Gen- 
eral Munson, head of the Morale Branch of the War De- 
partment, for circulation in the army and among the people 
of the United States, as well as abroad. As this picture 
was to show the relation of the home life to the soldier, 
professional actors and actresses and much studio-work 
were required. The Morale Branch had no funds to pay 
for such a picture, and the Division of Films was able to 
work out a scenario of such promise that the Hodkinson 
Corporation agreed to produce the picture at their own 
expense, which they did at a cost exceeding forty thou- 
sand dollars. 

Late in the summer of 1918, our system of production 
through outside concerns having worked out satisfactorily, 
it was decided to undertake production on our own account. 
Accordingly, scenarios were written, and the following six 
two-reel pictures were produced by the division : 



"If Your Soldier's Hit," showing the operation of the regi- 
mental detachment and field hospital unit in getting wounded 
men off the front line, giving them first aid, and conveying them 
safely to recuperation bases. This picture was made in con- 
junction with the Surgeon-General's Office at the training-camp 
at Fort Riley, Kansas, and the scenes were supplemented by 
scenes from overseas. 

"Our Wings of Victory/' showing the complete processes of 
the manufacture and operation of airplanes for war purposes. 
The construction scenes were taken in the chief 'plane-factories 
and were supplemented by extraordinary scenes of flying. 

"Our Horses of War," showing how the remount depots of 
the army obtain and train the horses and mules for cavalry and 
artillery purposes, and the feats performed by the animals so 
trained under the manipulation of the soldiers. 

"Making the Nation Fit," showing how new recruits -for the 
great army and the great navy were developed to a stage of 
physical fitness. 

"The Storm of Steel," showing how twelve billions of the 
Liberty Loan money was being expended in the construction 
of guns and munitions. These scenes were taken in half a dozen 
of the chief gun-plants of the country and on the proving-grounds 
and are the most complete record in the government's posses- 
sion of this undertaking. 

"The Bath of Bullets," showing the development and use 
of machine-guns in this war. 

A second series of six two-reel pictures had been laid 
out and the filming was about to proceed when the armistice 
caused the division to suspend all new undertakings. 

The distribution of still pictures under the direction 
of Mr. Rubel and Mr. Harold E. Hecht also underwent 
a process of reorganization as time presented new needs 
and afforded new opportunities. One of the first of the 
new plans was the inauguration of the "permit system." 
While the military authorities were correct in refusing 
general admission to ordnance and airplane factories, to 
navy -yards and to certain cantonments where secret tests 
were being made, there was no good reason for barring 



private photographers from the majority of the camps 
and factories. Mr. Rubel, therefore, in consultation with 
the army and the navy, worked out a plan of permits that 
safeguarded military secrets even while it opened up the 
military effort to the cameras of civilians. Our procedure 
investigated each applicant and certified him to the camp 
commanders, and a "voluntary censorship" agreed to by 
the commercial photographers protected against indis- 
cretion. Under this system, and as illustrative of its 
liberal provisions, the division issued more than six thou- 
sand permits, the daily applications ranging from ten to 

This arrangement took care of domestic photographers, 
permitting Mr. Rubel to devote all his energy to the dis- 
tribution of still pictures taken by the Signal Corps in 
France. In the first days, when the shipments were few, 
it was a simple matter to spread the photographs among 
the newspapers, but as great bundles commenced to be 
received, our simple machinery broke down. To meet 
the new demand, an arrangement was made with the 
Photographic Association, including such firms as Under- 
wood & Underwood, International Film Service, Brown 
Bros., Paul Thompson, Kadel & Herbert, Harris & Ewing, 
Western Newspaper Union, the Newspaper Enterprise 
Association, and other firms that syndicated photographs 
nationally and internationally. Through organized effort 
these syndicate members placed our photographs in daily 
newspapers, weekly and monthly magazines, technical 
publications, and other mediums. To expedite production 
and delivery, a laboratory was secured in New York City 
and operated by the Signal Corps Photographic Division 
in conjunction with Columbia University. The prices 
fixed were nominal, designed only to cover expenses. 

This department also furnished quantities of photo- 
graphs each week to the Foreign Service Section of the 



Committee for use in propaganda media in the Allied and 
neutral nations. Photographs were also furnished for 
publicity purposes for motion-picture features and we 
reproduced in hundreds of newspapers reaching millions 
of circulation. Another means of distribution of war 
photographs was to private collections, to universities, 
historical societies, state and municipal libraries, and any 
organization that could make use of pictures for future 
reference. Also, individuals who were interested in getting 
pictures of war activities, more especially those who had 
members of their families or friends directly connected 
with the war. 

The Department of Slides was next added to the, activi- 
ties of the bureau and supplied a long-felt need for official 
and authentic photographs in stereopticon form for the 
use of ministers, lecturers, school-teachers, and others. 
Mr. Rubel and Mr. Hecht succeeded in putting out stand- 
ard size balck and white slides of the finest workmanship 
at fifteen cents each, which price saved the user from 
50 to 80 per cent. At first the production of slides 
was entirely dependent on the laboratory of the Signal 
Corps in Washington, which, as the orders increased in 
volume, proved inadequate to turn out sufficient quantity. 
The Committee on Public Information then built its 
own laboratory with ample production facilities. Out 
of this idea came another that of illustrated war lectures. 
Taking the "Ruined Churches of France" as a first sub- 
ject, for the original demand came from ministers for 
the most part, we prepared 50 slides, and accompanied 
them with a wonderful little lecture written movingly by 
Dr. John S. P. Tatlock of Leland Stanford University. 
Such was its enthusiastic reception that the following 
lectures were issued in rapid sequence: "Our Boys in 
France," 100 slides; "Building a Bridge of Ships to Persh- 
ing," 50 slides; "To Berlin via the Air Route," 50 slides; 



'Making the American Army," 50 slides. About 700 of 
these sets were ordered by patriotic organizations and 
individuals, as well as churches and schools. 

The next series of illustrated lectures to be distributed 
were as follows : " The Call to Arms," 58 slides ; " Trenches 
and Trench Warfare," 73 slides; "Airplanes and How 
Made," 61 slides; "Flying for America," 54 slides; "The 
American Navy," 51 slides; "The Navy at Work," 36 
slides; "Building a Bridge of Ships," 63 slides; "Trans- 
porting the Army to France," 63 slides; " Carrying the Home 
to the Camp," 61 slides. These sets were prepared and 
the lectures written by George F. Zook, professor of Modern 
European History in Pennsylvania State College. A 
total of 900 were ordered. While the greater number of 
orders came from various parts of this country, many 
were received from foreign countries. 

In the year of existence the Department of Slides dis- 
tributed a total of 200,000 slides. 


IN some respects the Division of Pictorial Publicity 
was one of the most remarkable of the many forces 
called into being by the Committee on Public Information. 
Artists, from time immemorial, have been looked upon 
as an irresponsible lot, given over to dreams and impracti- 
cality and with little or no concern for the values that go 
to make up the every-day world. At America's call, 
however, painters, sculptors, designers, illustrators, and 
cartoonists rallied to the colors with instancy and enthusi- 
asm, and no other class or profession excelled them in the 
devotion that took no account of sacrifice or drudgery. 
As a consequence, America had more posters than any 
other belligerent, and, what is more to the point, they 
were the best. They called to our own people from every 
hoarding like great clarions, and they went through the 
world, captioned in every language, carrying a message 
that thrilled and inspired. 

Even in the rush of the first days, when we were calling 
writers and speakers and photographers into service, 
I had the conviction that the poster must play a great 
part in the fight for public opinion. The printed word 
might not be read, people might not choose to attend 
meetings or to watch motion pictures, but the billboard 
was something that caught even the most indifferent eye. 
The old-style poster, turned out by commercial artists 

10 133 


as part of advertising routine, was miles away from our 
need, however. The current Washington idea that imag- 
ined art as a sort of slot-machine was a mistake that had 
to be rectified. What we wanted what we had to have 
was posters that represented the best work of the best 
artists posters into which the masters of the pen and 
brush had poured heart and soul as well as genius. Look- 
ing the field over, we decided upon Charles Dana Gibson 
as the man best fitted to lead the army of artists, and on 
April 17, 1917, this splendid American entered the service 
as a volunteer. He called F. De Sales Casey to his right 
hand as vice-chairman and secretary, and the two formed 
these committees: 

Associate chairmen Herbert Adams, E. H. Blashfield, Ralph 
Clarkson, Cass Gilbert, Oliver D. Grover, Francis Jones, Arthur 
F. Matthews, Joseph Pennell, Edmond Tarbell, Douglas Volk. 

Executive Committee F. G. Cooper, N. Pousette-Dart, I. Dos- 
kow, F. E. Dayton, C. B. Falls, Albert E. Gallatin, Ray Green- 
leaf, Miss Malvina Hoffman, W. A. Rogers, Lieut. Henry Reu- 
terdahl, U. S. N. R. F., H. Scott Train, H. D. Welsh, J. Thompson 
Willing, H. T. Webster, Walter Whitehead, Jack Sheridan. 

Departmental captains C. B. Falls, H. T. Webster, Walter 
Whitehead, Ray Greenleaf, I. Doskow, N. Pousette-Dart, H. 
Scott Train. 

Headquarters were opened in New York, and within a 
month the organization had enlisted the great artists 
of America, and was working with speed and precision. 
H. Devitt Welsh of Philadelphia came to the office of the 
Committee in Washington to serve as "contact man." He 
went to the heads of all the war-making branches of govern- 
ment, telling them of the mobilization of the artists, and ob- 
taining from each department its list of poster needs. This 
list was then sent to Mr. Gibson in New York, who made 



the assignments as would the art manager of a magazine, 
picking the artists best fitted for the particular need. The 
work, when finished, was hurried to Washington, and 
after approval was followed through the printing by ex- 
perts. Not only this, but every man associated with Mr. 
Gibson submitted poster ideas of his own, so that govern- 
mental routines were soon broken up by the inrush of new 
and more vivid thought. 

Strange as it may seem, the Division of Pictorial Pub- 
licity traveled no royal road to the favor of governmental 
heads. Many of these executives knew nothing at all 
about art or artists, and others, with greater knowledge, 
were products of the "chromo school." As a matter of 
fact, Mr. Gibson had to spend days in Washington actually 
begging for the privilege of submitting sketches from men 
and women whose names stood for all that was finest in 
American art. Through it all he held to his patience and 
enthusiasm, and at last the importance of the offering 
penetrated the official consciousness, and that which had 
been ignored came to be wildly pursued. 

It was not only the case that the artists were subject 
to call, like so many members of a volunteer fire depart- 
ment, but they held regular weekly meetings at which 
the task was discussed as a whole, every one present 
contributing criticism, ideas, and inspiration. These meet- 
ings of the division developed into the most interesting 
series of dinners ever held in New York City. Under the 
magnetic leadership of Mr. Gibson, the dominant note 
was patriotic fervor. Everybody felt it a duty to come. 
The most celebrated men in every branch of art met for 
the first time at the same board with the younger men of 
their profession. This set the highest standard for the 
division and was an assurance to the government that it 
could expect the best that American art could give. It was 
also an inspiration to the younger men to be associated 



in such a notable league of artists, and made it a dis- 
tinguished honor to succeed in the friendly competition 
for government acceptance of work. 

The character of the division was best described in the 
words of Mr. Gibson himself when he said: "This is a 
schoolroom. All are welcome. We come here to learn 
from one another, to get inspiration and get religion for the 
great task the government has set for us. No artist is too 
great to come and give his best. We are fortunate to be 
alive at this time and be able to take advantage of the 
greatest opportunity ever presented to artists." 

Being chosen to speak through their work to the millions 
of their countrymen, the artists felt a great sense of respon- 
sibility that bound them into a harmonious unit. All 
worked together in the common cause, sank personal 
considerations, gave and received advice. A fine spirit 
of helpfulness prevailed, the one aim the highest excel- 
lence in all commissions executed. The steady appear- 
ance of the division's work became a feature of the war, 
not only stirring patriotism, but awakening in the public 
mind the importance of artists. It was a wholesale edu- 
cation to the country in that the division made the bill- 
board "safe for art," the work standing out in sharp con- 
trast to the commercial disfigurations of the past. 

To increase the scope of the committee and to stimu- 
late the personal interest of the artists outside of New York, 
sectional branches were formed, and Oliver Dennett 
Grover of Chicago became the chairman of the Western 
Committee, Mr. E. Tarbell and Mr. Arthur F. Matthews 
taking charge in Boston and San Francisco. 

The full contribution of the artists of America to the 
national cause, as well as the reliance placed upon the 
Division of Pictorial Publicity by every department of 
government, is shown by the following record of achieve- 




Car, bus, 

paper and 
other ad- 



American Red Cross, Washing- 





War Savings Stamps 





Liberty Loan (Third) 




Liberty Loan (Fourth) 



Shipping Board 




American Library Association. . 



War Camp Community Ser- 





Ordnance Department 














Fuel Administration 







War Department 



Public Health Service 




Young Men's Christian Associ- 



Young Women's Christian Asso- 



Signal Corps 







Division of Films 




Committee of Patriotic Societies 




United States Boys' Working 





Committee on National Defense 



Western Newspaper Union 





Committee on Publio Infor- 




Division of Advertising 





Squad A, Magazine Gun 




Food for France . 



Department of Interior 




United States Tank Corps 



Treasure and Trinket Fund . 





Jewish Welfare 



Trades for Disabled Soldiers . . 




Motor Corps 



Federation of Neighborhood As- 


Office of Chief of Staff 



Bastile Day 




Fifth Avenue Association 


American Poets' Committee 


Federal Food Board 


Rehabilitating Wounded Sol- 





Italian War Work 



Official Bulletin 





Pelham Naval Station 



United War Work Campaign. . . 





Departments and committees requesting work 58 

Poster designs submitted 700 

Cards requested 122 

Newspaper and other advertising. 310 

Cartoons submitted 287 

Seals, buttons, etc., executed 19 

Total material (drawings, designs, etc.) 1,438 

In addition to the above, Lieut. Henry Reuterdahl and 
N. C. Wyeth worked on a painting ninety feet long, twenty- 
five feet high, which was placed at the Subtreasury Building 
for the Third Liberty Loan. Lieutenant Reuterdahl 
made also three paintings, each over twenty feet, for the 
publicity of the Fourth Liberty Loan in Washington, D. C. 

During the United War Work Campaign the same plan 
was followed, seven artists painting on days assigned, 
in front of the Public Library, two others assigned in 
front of the Metropolitan Museum. This work was 
carried on by a committee of this division. These artists 

F. D. Steele, Young Men's Christian Association. 

Middleton Chambers, Knights of Columbus. 

C. B. Falls, Salvation Army. 

I. Olinsky, Jewish Welfare. 

Denman Fink, Library Association. 

Jean McLane, Young Women's Christian Association. 

Howard Giles, War Camp Community Service. 

Charles Chapman and Luis Mora, Metropolitan Museum. 

As showing the manner in which the artists rose to 
high esteem, when General Pershing asked that the artists 
be sent to the firing-line in France, the task of selection 
was turned over to the Division of Pictorial Publicity 
and these men received commissions: Capts. J. Andre 
Smith, Ernest Peixotto, Harry Townsend, Wallace Morgan, 
George Harding, William J. Aylward, W. J. Duncan, 
and Harvey Dunn. 



Almost three hundred drawings were received from 
them, which were framed and sent throughout the country 
for exhibition, and in addition to this the majority of them 
were given exquisite reproduction in the great magazines. 
The following characteristic comment, lifted out of a 
recent letter from Mr. Gibson, gives a hint of the spirit 
that made the Division of Pictorial Publicity a force and 
an inspiration: 

It always struck me as more than fortunate that your telegram 
on the night of April 17, 1917, should have reached me when 
and where it did. It was at a dinner at the Hotel Majestic, 
the first gathering of artists after the declaration of war. We 
were there to offer our services to the country, but were in 
some doubt as to the method of procedure. We were sparring 
for an opening. Some of the speeches were about half over 
and some of them threatened to get us off the track, when just 
at the psychological moment your telegram was handed to me 
and we had a focusing-point. If it had all been prearranged 
it could not have happened better. 

If I remember rightly, it was the following Sunday we met at 
your house, where the Division of Pictorial Publicity was formed. 
As you say, the division met some rough going in the early days, 
but for that matter so did every one who tried to elbow his 
way into the front trenches. I dare say no one knows this better 
than yourself. At any rate, it is easy to forget all those bumps 
now. In fact, the suspicion with which some of those in Wash- 
ington looked upon the artists was not to be wondered at and 
bothered me less as I became better acquainted with the men 
I met down there. After all, we were offering something for 
nothing and that in itself was suspicious. We always felt that 
your experience was more or less like ours, only on a much larger 
scale, and you understood and were with us, so it was easy 
to wait. There is nothing like good company when the going 
is rough, and now that I look back upon it I dare say it really 
made the job more interesting. 

The Associate Chairmen were most useful in allaying the 
fears of the heads of the different departments, and the work 
done by Casey was invaluable. He had great knowledge of the 
work and in addition possessed tact, even temper, and modesty. 



There wasn't an artist in the country, man or woman, who didn't 
offer the best that was in him, and the single one who hesitated 
was a Quaker and he was only able to hold out for a short time. 

By Wallace Irwin 

I stand by a fence on a peaceable street 

And gaze on the posters in colors of flame, 
Historical documents, sheet upon sheet, 

Of our share in the war ere the armistice came. 

And I think about Art as a Lady-at-Arms; 

She's a studio character most people say, 
With a feminine trick of displaying her charms 

In a manner to puzzle the ignorant lay. 

But now as I study that row upon row 

Of wind-blown engravings I feel satisfaction 

Deep down in my star-spangled heart, for I know 
How Art put on khaki and went into action. 

There are posters for drives now triumphantly o'er 

I look with a smile reminiscently fond 
As mobilized Fishers and Christys implore 

In a feminine voice, "Win the War Buy a Bond!" 

There's a Jonas Lie shipbuilder, fit for a frame; 

Wallie Morg's "Feed a Fighter" lurks deep in his trench; 
There's Blashfield's Columbia setting her name 

In classical draperies, trimmed by the French. 

Charles Livingston Bull in marine composition 
Exhorts us to Hooverize (portrait of bass). 

Jack Sheridan tells us that Food's Ammunition 
We've all tackled war biscuits under that class. 



See the winged Polish warrior that Benda has wrought! 

Is he private or captain? I cannot tell which, 
For printed below is the patriot thought 

Which Poles pronounce "Sladami Ojcow Naszych." 

There's the Christy Girl wishing that she was a boy, 
There's Leyendecker coaling for Garfield in jeans, 

There's the Montie Flagg guy with the air of fierce joy 
Inviting the public to Tell the Marines. 

And the noble Six Thousand they count up to that 
Are marshaled before me in battered review. 

They have uttered a thought that is All in One Hat 
In infinite shadings of red, white, and blue. 

And if brave Uncle Sam Dana Gibson, please bow 
Has called for our labors as never before, 

Let him stand in salute in acknowledgment now 
Of the fighters that trooped from the studio door. 



THE accidental quality that marked so many of our 
ideas was never more apparent than in the United 
States Government War Expositions that came to be one 
of the principal activities of the Committee on Public 
Information. These exhibitions, that had all the attraction 
of a circus and all the seriousness of a sermon, were given 
in twenty-one cities, were seen by more than 10,000,000 
people, and earned a total income of $1,438,004. 

In the spring of 1917, when the Committee was just 
getting under way, the representatives of the state fairs 
came to us and asked for a war exhibit. We took the matter 
up with the army and the navy and received assurance 
that the proper material would be provided. Unfortu- 
nately, however, the promise was lost sight of in the rush 
of more important things, and the Committee, as usual, 
received the full blame for the failure. In the early 
months of 1918 we entered into new communication with 
the state fairs and expositions, this time assuming full re- 
sponsibility for the preparation of an exhibit. Capt. Joseph 
H. Hittinger was borrowed from the War Department, 
and co-operative arrangements were made with the depart- 
ments of War, Navy, Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, 
and the Food Administration. From the army and the 
navy we secured guns of all kinds, hand-grenades, gas- 
masks, depth-bombs, mines, and hundreds of other things 



calculated to show the people how their money was being 
spent. The other departments joined in with exhibits 
of their own, all going to make up three carloads of ma- 
terial. Thirty-five state fairs and expositions were reached 
throughout the summer, soldiers and sailors accompany- 
ing exhibits and acting as lecturers. 

In June, 1918, the Committee on Public Information 
was called before the Committee on Appropriations of the 
House to tell why it wanted money and to explain what 
it meant to do with the money. When I came to the item 
of the state fair exhibits, and explained the general idea 
of carrying the facts of war to the people of the United 
States, there was not only a very notable lack of enthusiasm, 
but even a distinct disposition to regard the idea as some- 
what stupid and quite unnecessary. Here, for instance, 
is an excerpt from the printed report of the hearing: 

THE CHAIRMAN. The question I am going to ask you does 
not express any opinion, but I am making the inquiry in order 
that you may express an opinion: What have you to say as to 
whether the fact that the mobilizing of men from nearly every 
family in the land of itself brings the war so directly home and 
in such a vital way as to make unnecessary this military prop- 
aganda work in order to interest the people in the war? 

MB. CREEL. There are two sides to that. In the first place, 
the son in the service gives direct interest instantly, but that 
interest may be of a nature so tinged with anxiety that it lends 
itself to every rumor and every apprehension, and it is our duty 
to work for enthusiasm and against depression. That is impor- 
tant not only for the family, but for the boy who is fighting at 
the front. We know that every letter that is written to a soldier 
in a pessimistic tone tends to make him a poor soldier, and it is 
just as much the business of war to keep the home happy and 
ardent as it is to maintain courage on the firing-line. 

We know from the experience of cantonments that the civilian 
morale is highest near those cantonments where the general 
in command has displayed his men most prominently, giving 
frequent drills at exhibitions, visiting near-by cities, and where 



he has made the most effective arrangements to bring the fathers 
and mothers to the cantonments to see the boys in action, to 
see how they are treated, to see how they look, and what they 
are doing. That is the way we feel, and I think that practi- 
cally every member of the military establishment will tell you 
that it is of military value. The General Staff, as you know, 
is continually placing emphasis upon what they term "morale." 

The sum eventually allowed us for War Expositions was 
five thousand dollars. A few days after this virtual re- 
buff, I was visited by Mr. W. C. D'Arcy, Mr. Llewellyn 
Pratt, and others, who explained that the Associated Adver- 
tising Clubs of the World would hold their annual conven- 
tion in San Francisco, July 4th. W T hat they wanted was 
a collection of war trophies in order to give the gathering 
a patriotic note. Going to the War Department, then to 
the English, French, and Italian Commissions, and finally 
to the Canadians, we collected every possible trophy and 
hurried them out to San Francisco. It was not much of 
an exhibition, even when viewed by the most enthusiastic 
eye, but the advertising clubs put themselves whole- 
heartedly behind the project and drove it through to 
success. Los Angeles then asked for the collection and we 
sent it there, doing even better with it than in San Fran- 
cisco. Although the admission charge was small, in nei- 
ther place did we lose money, a fact that gave us courage 
to disregard the smallness of the capital allowed us by 

Making decision to go into the work on a huge scale, 
we turned the exposition idea over to Mr. Charles S. Hart 
of the Division of Films, who straightway gathered a staff 
of exhibit experts about him. Under the new plan we 
collected every possible trophy brought to this country 
either by the War Department or by the Allies, and to 
these we added everything that the army and navy could 
give that would let the people see the machinery of war. 



The Y. M. C. A., the Y. W. C. A., the Knights of Colum- 
bus, the Jewish Welfare Board, the American Library 
Association, the War Camp Community Service, the Red 
Cross, and every other voluntary agency were also induced 
to prepare exhibits, all making up a great tram of cars equal 
in volume to a transcontinental circus. 

Going into Chicago, we boldly took the Lake front and 
proceeded to erect buildings and dig the trenches. Mr. 
Samuel Insull, Chicago's dynamic public figure, was in- 
duced to lend his powerful aid, and he swung every one 
of the civic associations into line. W. H. Rankin, the ad- 
vertising expert, joined in the executive direction and 
attended to the publicity. Having committed ourselves 
to the hazard, no expense was spared, and on the day that 
the United States Government War Exposition opened 
our commitments were well over two hundred thousand 
dollars, a radical advance indeed over the five thousand 
dollars allowed by Congress, and one that meant disaster 
if our conclusions were wrong. 

The gates opened in a downpour of rain and the first 
day's attendance was appallingly small. When the news 
reached Washington over the long-distance telephone, a 
more heart-sick group of people could not have been im- 
agined. The sun came out, however, and in the two weeks 
that followed more than two million people visited the 
exposition, the average daily attendance being in excess 
of that of the World's Fair. When the books were bal- 
anced it was seen that we had paid every cent of expense 
and cleared for the government the sum of $318,000. 

There was interest as well as inspiration in the exposi- 
tion. Along the great stretches of promenade were dis- 
tributed the trophies captured from the enemy by soldiers 
of the United States and the Allies great thirty-five- 
thousand-pound guns taken in hand-to-hand struggle, 
battered remnants of U-boats that sent women and chil- 



dren to their death, reservoirs for poison-gas, German 
'planes brought down as they hovered over villages and 
hospitals, helmets, gas-masks all the paraphernalia of 
war. Our army and navy put on view all the varied 
manufactures that would permit people to grasp the 
extent of America's preparation, and from the Allies came 
types of their war material. In the booths that stretched 
in endless line all the various war organizations pictured 
the life of the soldier and the sailor, and showed what they 
were doing in the way of assistance and encouragement. 

Through the generous co-operation of the army and the 
navy, a remarkable sham battle was staged every after- 
noon, and this daily spectacle of men going over the top 
to the rattle of rifles and machine-guns, and the roar of 
the navy ordnance, aroused the assembled thousands to 
the highest pitch of enthusiasm. Pleading military neces- 
sity, the army and the navy refused to lend us men after 
the Chicago Exposition, with the result that the sham 
battles had to be discontinued as one of our features. 
Even so, the tour continued with remarkable results. 
The following table, showing the cities visited and income 
received, should serve as an ample vindication of the 
Committee's decision: 

San Francisco $ 54,274 80 

Los Angeles 65,375 75 

Chicago 583,731 24 

Cleveland 167,355 51 

Waco 16,904 70 

Pittsburgh 147,804 16 

Kansas City 28,646 20 

Cincinnati 66,541 20 

Buffalo 60,354 27 

St. Louis 23,570 40 

New Orleans 14,439 20 

Toledo 50,003 02 

Detroit 63,470 74 



Houston $22,684 05 

Milwaukee 49,372 02 

St. Paul (small exhibit) 9,065 34 

Jackson (small exhibit) 5,169 29 

Little Rock (small exhibit) 2,458 72 

Oklahoma (small exhibit) 4,664 71 

Great Falls (small exhibit) 996 07 

Waterloo (small exhibit) 1,122 85 

Total income, expositions $1,438,004 24 

Its financial success did not result from a high admis- 
sion price, but was due to the appeal of the exposition itself. 
On the Pacific coast tickets were sold for 50 cents and were 
redeemable at the gate for a 25-cent War Saving Stamp in 
addition to an admission ticket. This plan was followed 
for the purpose of creating the War Saving Stamp habit 
in that territory. In Chicago and the other cities the 
tickets were sold in advance for 25 cents, children J^ cents. 



THE United States, in the first months of the war, was 
an oratorical bedlam. More than a dozen national 
speakers' bureaus were being conducted by government 
departments and by associations which were seeking to 
promote the national interest. Scores of state speaking 
campaigns were being inaugurated under the auspices 
of Councils of Defense and other organizations. All these 
were competing for speakers, duplicating each other's 
activities, and failing to co-ordinate their efforts in an 
effective and comprehensive campaign. Nothing was 
more apparent than the need of some central clearing- 
house in Washington through which these various organi- 
zations, working for a great common purpose, but each 
with its special message, could be brought into touch with 
the affairs and facilities of other departments, and given 
the inspiration and information which came from the vital 
national interests involved. 

In consideration of these needs, the Speaking Division 
of the Committee on Public Information was created 
September 25, 1917, the idea receiving the approval of the 
President in the following letter: 


I heartily approve of the suggestion you have made that 
through your Committee some effort be made to co-ordinate 
the work of the various bureaus, departments, and agencies 



interested in presenting from the platform various phases of the 
national task. With the co-operation of the departments, the 
Food Administration, the Council of National Defense, and the 
Committee on Public Information, it would seem possible to 
enlist the many state and private organizations who have put 
the nation's cause above every other issue and stand ready to 
participate in a speaking campaign that shall give to the people 
that fullness of information which will enable and inspire each 
citizen to play intelligently his part in the greatest and most 
vital struggle ever undertaken by self-governing nations. 

Your suggestion of Mr. Arthur E. Bestor, president of Chau- 
tauqua Institution, to direct this work is excellent. You are 
fortunate to be able to enlist one who has been so intimately 
connected with a great American educational institution devoted 
to popular instruction without prejudice or partizanship.^ 
Cordially and sincerely yours, 


Certain general policies were followed from the very 
beginning with such modifications as from time to time 
became necessary. It was not the purpose of the division 
to attempt to combine the speakers' bureaus of the several 
departments or private organizations, nor to assume any 
responsibility for supervision over them, but rather to 
establish a bureau to co-ordinate their efforts where they 
related to common aims or activities. It was the purpose 
to seek co-operation among these speakers' bureaus by 
agreement and consultation; to offer a national clearing- 
house for speaking campaigns; to avoid duplication of 
effort and overlapping of territory; to supply speakers 
with usable information from government departments; 
to concentrate the attention of speakers during special 
periods upon different national needs; and to foster in 
all speakers a sense of the unity of the national purpose. 
There was never an attempt to control and supervise the 
speaking of the country the problem was simply one of 
co-operation and co-ordination. 

Through the medium of bulletins, conferences, and cor- 

11 149 


respondence, a direct relationship was maintained with 
every government department, patriotic society, Chamber 
of Commerce, Rotary Club, and similar associations, 
and by this means a machinery was created by which 
national speakers could be routed at short notice, with a 
certainty of large audiences. 

It was in direct line with his work, though seemingly 
outside of it, that Mr. Bestor went from state to state in 
the interests of better organization. His first trips were 
concerned almost entirely with the State Councils of 
Defense, and, it was in consequence of these meetings 
that the great series of war conferences was held. Our 
idea was that the facts and necessities of war must 
be carried not only to every home in the cities and 
towns, but to hamlets and the most remote farm-houses 
as well. 

Forty-five war conferences were held in thirty-seven 
states, and, in addition, local conferences were called in 
various sections. These official gatherings brought to- 
gether all the effective war-workers in the state, usually 
occupied two days, and in addition to the general meetings 
addressed by the speakers sent out by the division there 
were sectional conferences held by federal and state 
officials who were carrying on war-work. These war 
conferences were oftentimes the greatest gatherings held 
within the states during the war. They had a profound 
effect upon public opinion and upon the efficient organi- 
zation of state war-work. Usually the state-wide con- 
ferences were followed by county and town conferences 
of the same character. 

A card catalogue of over ten thousand speakers and 
makers of public opinion was eventually gathered, and a 
select list of three hundred effective speakers. Whenever 
a request was made for an individual address, a list was 
prepared of those available for such service. This resulted 



in many appointments being made by organizations direct 
with speakers recommended by the division. 

It became more and more the practice, however, for 
the division to assume entire charge of all tours. When 
some distinguished speaker volunteered his services for 
a week or a month, or even longer, it was the obvious 
dictate of common sense that his time and value should 
not be wasted. A steady and practical sequence of en- 
gagements had to be arranged, and this called for the 
central control and direction that only the Speaking Di- 
vision was in a position to give. 

In co-operation with the British War Mission, engage- 
ments were made for Sir Frederick E. Smith, the British 
Attorney-General; Sir Walter Lawrence, Sir George Adam 
Smith, Gen. H. D. Swinton, Col. A. C. Murray, Maj. Ian 
Hay Beith, Lieut. Hector MacQuarrie, Hon. Harald Smith, 
Maj. Robert Massie, and Maj. Laughlin McLean Watt. 
All were successes except Sir Frederick Smith, who proved 
only irritating and offensive. 

Lieutenant MacQuarrie was a peculiarly effective speak- 
er, giving ninety-three addresses in four months in nine 
states, everywhere arousing enthusiasm. Hon. Crawford 
Vaughan, ex-Premier of South Australia, a noted labor 
leader, was brought across the continent by the division, 
spoke at several of the war conferences, and gave in all 
twenty-two addresses under the auspices of the division 
until he became connected with the United States Ship- 
ping Board. 

The French High Commission permitted us to make 
engagements for M. Maurice Casenave and M. Edouard 
de Billy, and placed at our disposal Countess Madeleine 
de Bryas, Captain Paul Perigord, and Lieutenant Wierz- 
bicki for national tours. Of all those who spoke in Amer- 
ica during the war, native or foreign, Captain Perigord, 
the warrior-priest, must be given first rank. This is not 



to be taken as disparagement of the others, for Captain 
Perigord was virtually in a class by himself. French by 
birth, the outbreak of the war found him a priest in St. 
Paul, serving in the Catholic University. Returning at 
once to his native land, he went into the ranks as a private, 
fought in battle after battle, and at Verdun won his com- 
mission, leading the charge of a few heroes when every 
officer had been killed. Blessed with a voice like an organ 
note, he was more than a great speaker; he seemed in- 
spired. For seven months he went about the country, 
making 152 speeches in all, many of them to audiences 
that numbered thousands, only quitting when sheer ex- 
haustion brought him to a sick-bed from which he liked 
not to have arisen. 

Countess de Bryas was second only to Captain Perigord, 
for in addition to brains and real oratorical ability she 
had youth and beauty. Accompanied by her sister, the 
Countess Jacqueline, she toured America from Atlantic 
to Pacific, from North to South, speaking in cities and vil- 
lages, before social and commercial organizations, in fac- 
tories and churches, driving home the message of France, 
and making Americans realize America. She was pecul- 
iarly effective in factories, for her simplicity and sincerity 
went straight to the hearts of workers, and her proudest 
possession was a collection of grimy gloves made unwear- 
able by the toil-stained hands of the hundreds who crowded 
around her at the close of every meeting. As in the case 
of Captain Perigord, Countess de Bryas broke under the 
strain imposed upon her, but, recovering after an illness 
of weeks, resumed her tour and carried it through to the 
agreed conclusion. 

The Speaking Division also handled the engagements 
of the following officials of our own government: 

Dr. Vernon Kellogg, Maj. W. L. Brown, Dr. Henry 
J. Waters, and Dr. Henry C. Culbertson, of the Food 



Administration; and Dr. Anna Shaw and Miss Ida Tar- 
bell, of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National 

Hon. Wesley Frost, former consul at Queenstown, and 
the official reporter of eighty-one submarine sinkings, 
created profound sensation in his transcontinental tours, 
and from September to February gave sixty-three addresses 
in twenty-nine states for the Speaking Division. 

Charles Edward Russell, a member of the President's 
Commission to Russia, who was particularly effective 
before labor audiences, gave fifty-eight addresses from 
October to February in all parts of the country. Con- 
gressman Albert Johnson, just back from the front, deliv- 
ered nineteen addresses in nine states from December to 

In co-operation with the Friends of German Democ- 
racy, Mr. Henry Riesenburg made twenty-seven addresses 
in nineteen states; Dr. Frank Bohn, nine addresses in 
three states; Dr. William H. Bohn, twenty-six addresses 
in three states; Dr. Karl Mathie, eighteen addresses in 
two states; and Prof. A. E. Koenig, nine addresses. 

Some of the best features of the work were not the product 
of plan, but sprang entirely from lucky accident. One 
evening, at a dinner given by the French High Commission, 
Marquis Crequi Montfort de Courtivron asked me, in 
his precise English, if I knew where Richmond was. I 
gave him the necessary information and casually asked 
him why he wanted to know. He answered that his wife 
was a daughter of Prince Camille de Polignac, who had 
fought through the Civil War under the flag of the Con- 
federacy, rising to the rank of general. On his death-bed 
in France the year before, General Prince de Polignac had 
asked his daughter to return his sword to the state of Vir- 
ginia, and it was this sacred commission that the Marquis 
desired to discharge. 



Here, as if made to order, was a splendid opportunity 
to reach the entire South with the message of France. 
Not only did the Marquise de Courtivron bear the sword 
of her father, but her husband was a distinguished French 
officer, and in the United States also was her cousin, the 
Marquis de Polignac, who had married an American 
woman, Mrs. James Eustace, of New York, only a short 
time before. 

Getting in communication with the governor of Vir- 
ginia, Mr. Bestor gained an official invitation for the party, 
and the governors of other Southern states, informed of 
the visit, begged that the itinerary might be extended to 
take in their capitals. By way of offsetting the titles 
in case of any such prejudice, we added Mr. Charles 
Edward Russell to the party, that distinguished Socialist, 
who was also one of the greatest speakers that ever ad- 
dressed a patriotic audience. The trip, commencing in 
Richmond and ending in New Orleans, was a whirlwind 
of enthusiasm, and did as much as any one thing to drive 
home the facts of war. 

Another feature was the American tour of Capt. 
Roald Amundsen, in many respects the most powerful 
individual in Scandinavia. We persuaded Captain Am- 
undsen to go to the American lines in France for a visit 
of inspection, and then we managed to bring him to the 
United States, sending him to every part of the country 
where Scandinavian peoples were gathered in any quantity. 

Inasmuch as the division had relations with state 
Councils of Defense in practically all the states and with 
various organizations like the Chambers of Commerce, 
Rotary Clubs, and others that had ready-made audiences, 
the division came more and more to be the organization to 
handle tours for patriotic purposes which were other than 
merely speaking tours. The French Blue Devils, for in- 
stance, were routed under the auspices of the division, 



and the 344 Belgian soldiers returning from Russia were 
brought across the continent by the division. The fifty 
American soldiers sent by General Pershing to aid in the 
Third Liberty Loan were, at the conclusion of that loan, 
routed by the division for one month and heard in prac- 
tically all of the states. 

Mr. Bestor's experience as president of the Chautauqua 
Institution, as well as his force and ability, was the principal 
factor in driving the work of the Speaking Division to 
complete success. Poor Bestor! No grand-opera im- 
presario ever had greater difficulties, for many of our 
orators had all the temperament of a prima donna and 
had to be humored to a point where homicide appealed 
as necessary and justifiable. And the booking of an 
organization like the Blue Devils or Pershing's Veterans 
required as much work as the routing of a score of theatri- 
cal companies. Prof. J. J. Pettijohn, director of the ex- 
tension division of Indiana University and head of the 
Indiana State Speakers' Bureau, became associate di- 
rector of the division on May 6, 1918, and from June was 
in active charge in the absence of Mr. Bestor, until the 
consolidation of the division with the Four Minute Men, 
when he became the associate director of that division. 
His wide experience in popular education and his ability 
as an organizer were of great value to the division in the 
last months of its separate organization. 

Prof. Thomas F. Moran of Purdue University was 
loaned to the division by that institution for service from 
January to April, and performed brilliant service in the 
editing of the bulletins and in addresses before the Southern 
war conferences and individual addresses before many 
audiences. Mr. W. Frank McClure, publicity director 
of the Redpath Bureau, Chicago, was another who rendered 
useful and devoted service. 



THE work of the Committee was so distinctly in the 
nature of an advertising campaign, though shot 
through and through with an evangelical quality, that we 
turned almost instinctively to the advertising profession 
for advice and assistance. As it happened, however, 
there was a sad lack of accord in the initial contacts be- 
tween the government and the advertising experts. When 
the First Liberty Loan was announced a committee headed 
by Herbert Houston, William H. Rankin, and O. C. Harn 
came to Washington to urge a campaign based upon the 
outright purchase of advertising space in newspapers 
and other mediums. 

There was no question as to the patriotism of the men, 
nor do I think that there was much doubt as to the value 
and efficiency of their plan. When one considers the dis- 
ruption of business occasioned by each Liberty Loan and 
the appalling waste in stupid or misapplied energy, the 
conviction grows that paid advertising controlled, authori- 
tative, driving to its mark with the precision of a rifle-ball 
would have been quicker, simpler, and in the end far 

It was in the first days of war enthusiasm, however, 
and there was a definite repugnance to any suggestion 
that savored of profit. "Voluntary" was the magic word, 
and even though it took five dollars to secure the gift of a 




dime, there was a glamour about the donation that blinded 
every one to the economic waste. Aside from this, adver- 
tising was regarded as a business, not a profession, and the 
majority looked upon the advertising agent with suspicion, 
even when he was not viewed frankly as a plausible pirate 
belonging to the same school of endeavor as the edition- 
de-luxe book canvasser. 

In any event, the advertising experts withdrew from 
Washington, feeling somewhat as though casualties had 
been sustained, but instead of sulking they proceeded to 
prove themselves and their theories by actual demon- 
stration. Among other things, Mr. Rankin evolved what 
came to be known as the "Chicago Plan," being the pur- 
chase of space in the press by individuals or groups, and 
the donation of this space to the uses of government. 
As general director of a Red Cross drive in Chicago, for 
instance, he had induced a number of business men to 
stand the cost of thirty-five full-page advertisements in 
the daily papers, with the result that every dollar member- 
ship was secured at an expense of two and a half cents 
as opposed to an expense of twenty-three cents per member 
in New York, where all effort was "voluntary." 

The "Chicago Plan" was applied to the First Liberty 
Loan by almost every advertising club and agent in the 
country, and it is safe to say that fully one million dollars 
were contributed to the campaign, the donated space 
being filled with effective appeals prepared by selling 
experts. In Muncie, Indiana, where full dependence was 
placed upon the Rankin idea, not a single solicitor being 
used to sell bonds, the city more than doubled its quota 
in record time. 

The Second Liberty Loan saw much the same achieve- 
ments on the part of the advertising fraternity, and the 
showing gave me opportunity, even as it afforded justi- 
fication, for recognition of advertising as a real profession, 



and to include it as an honorable and integral part of the 
war-machinery of government. As a result of our recom- 
mendation the following executive order was issued: 

I hereby create, under the jurisdiction of the Committee 
on Public Information, heretofore established by executive 
order of April 14, 1917, a Division of Advertising for the pur- 
pose of receiving through the proper channels the generous 
offers of the advertising forces of the nation to support the 
effort of the government to inform public opinion properly and 


This authority was instantly exercised by the appoint- 
ment of a board of control composed of the following 
presidents of the leading advertising organizations: 

Mr. William H. Johns, chairman, president of the Ameri- 
can Association of Advertising Agencies, representing 115 
leading firms of this kind in the country; Mr. Thomas 
Cusack, one of the acknowledged leaders of the poster 
and painted bulletin industry; Mr. W. C. D'Arcy, presi- 
dent of the Associated Advertising Clubs of the World, 
representing 180 advertising clubs with a combined mem- 
bership of 17,000; Mr. O. C. Harn, chairman of the 
National Commission of the Associated Advertising Clubs 
of the World; Mr. Herbert S. Houston, formerly presi- 
dent of the Associated Advertising Clubs of the World; 
Mr. Lewis B. Jones, president of the Association of National 
Advertisers; and Mr. Jesse H. Neal, executive secretary 
of the Associated Business Papers, consisting of 500 lead- 
ing trade and technical publications. 

By this one stroke of President Wilson's pen every 
advertising man in the United States was enrolled in 
America's second line, and from the very moment of their 
enrolment we could feel the quickening of effort, the 
intensification of endeavor. Offices were taken in the 



Metropolitan Tower in New York, a skilled force assembled, 
and from these headquarters the generals directed the 
energies of an army of experts. 

A first effort, as a matter of course, was in connection 
with the advertising space, and donations of space, made 
by the publishers of national magazines, trade and agri- 
cultural papers, and theater programs in all the principal 
cities. Over 800 publishers of monthly and weekly periodi- 
cals gave space worth $159,275 per month for the duration 
of the war, and this was increasing monthly when the 
armistice terminated the arrangement. In addition, ad- 
vertisers themselves purchased $340,981 worth of space 
in various nationally circulated periodicals and turned it 
over to the Division of Advertising to use for government 
purposes. These were definite purchases for 1918, but 
indications had already been given that renewals would 
follow in 1919. Figuring on a yearly basis, these donations 
totaled approximately $2,250,000, but only about $1,594,- 
000 was used, owing to the sudden cessation of activities. 
The same plan was used in connection with the billboards 
and painted signs, and while exact figures are not obtain- 
able, a just estimate of these donations cannot be put 
under $250,000. 

Never was there a machinery that operated with such 
automatic efficiency. Through its Washington repre- 
sentative, Mr. Carl Wai berg, the division maintained 
direct contact with every branch of the American war 
effort, and whether it was the Treasury Department, the 
War Department, or the navy, the Shipping Board or the 
Food Administration, the Red Cross or the Fuel Adminis- 
tration, all that was necessary was the plain statement of 
the specific need. Mr. Johns and his associates did the 
rest. They studied the problem, planned the campaign, 
decided upon the agency best fitted to prepare the copy, 
or, as was more often the case, three or four agencies were 



instructed to turn in copy. When the selection had been 
made, the copy was turned over to the Division of Pictorial 
Publicity for illustration by some artist, then decision as 
to the publications best suited to the particular message, 
after which the plates went out. 

Aside from newspaper and trade-press advertising, the 
use of billboards and the painted sign, another element 
of tremendous publicity value was contributed by the 
International Association of Display Men. This organi- 
zation appointed a National War Service Committee on 
window displays, the chairman of which, Mr. C. J. Potter, 
took a desk in the New York offices of the Division of Ad- 
vertising and not only turned over to the division the entire 
window-display resources of the association in six hundred 
cities, but directed the entire work of creating patriotic 
window displays throughout the country so that, timed to 
the minute, they supplemented the division's campaigns 
in the periodicals. The window-display committee was 
instrumental in the building of sixty thousand reported 
displays on various government subjects, and probably 
hundreds more unreported. 

Perhaps a detailed description of one particular job will 
give a clearer conception of the energy, originality, and high 
value of the Committee's advertising associates and their 
organized method of work. For instance, it was the nation's 
task to register thirteen million men on September 12th. 
The enormous amount of detail compelled unavoidable 
delay, and as a result about two weeks were allowed to 
the office of the Provost-Marshal-General in which to reach 
every American between eighteen and forty-five with 
specific information and instructions. 

Every resource of the Committee was put at the service 
of General Crowder, but the great burden of effort fell 
entirely upon the Division of Advertising. Through Mr. 
W 7 alberg these men made a quick and authoritative study 



of the problem and outlined a nation-wide campaign that 
was altered in no detail, and that carried through the regis- 
tration without a single hitch. 

Expert copy-writers, working night and day, put the 
facts of registration in advertising form, the Division of 
Pictorial Publicity furnished illustrations, display experts 
put the product into type, and the whole was issued as 
an Advertising Service Bulletin and sent to every adver- 
tiser and advertising agent in the United States. Here, 
then, in form ready to use, was advertising copy in any 
space from one column to a page, suitable to any medium 
from a metropolitan daily to a country weekly, and through 
the generosity of local advertisers and the efforts of local 
advertising clubs these direct appeals went into the press 
of the United States. One full-page advertisement went 
to every agricultural, trade, and technical journal, while 
other class publications were dealt with in the same special- 
ized manner. 

The next publication was a Selective Service Register 
a regular newspaper with one side of the sheet given over 
entirely to questions and answers, specific instructions, 
and general appeals; the other side a striking poster, 
blazoning the fundamental facts of registration. News- 
papers and individuals, after reading or copying the stories, 
were then able to paste or hang up the sheet in such manner 
as to let the poster carry its message to every passer-by. 

The Division of Distribution, augmenting its force 
and working day and night shifts, distributed some 20,- 
000,000 copies of the two publications to the following 
addresses: 18,000 newspapers, 11,000 national advertisers 
and agencies, 10,000 chambers of commerce and their 
members, 30,000 manufacturers' associations, 22,000 labor 
unions, 10,000 public libraries, 32,000 banks, 58,000 gen- 
eral stores, 3,500 Young Men's Christian Association 
branches, 10,000 members of the Council of National 



Defense, 1,000 advertising clubs, 56,000 post-offices, 
55,000 railroad station agents, 5,000 draft boards, 100,000 
Red Cross organizations, 12,000 manufacturers' agents. 

The foreign-language groups were reached by the estab- 
lishment of direct contacts with 600 papers printed in 
nineteen different languages. Every advertisement, every 
instruction, and every appeal was translated into all of 
these tongues and the papers turned over their news and 
advertising columns with a generosity not surpassed by the 
native press. Fully 5,000,000 citizens were instructed 
in this direct fashion. 

Another problem was the rural districts far from rail- 
roads and not reached by the press. A special mailing- 
card was devised and sent to 43,000 Rural Free Delivery 
routes, 18,000 of which were out on railroads. Other 
cards, brilliant and effective, were planned, printed, and 
put in the street-cars of the country, while almost over- 
night the poster and sign-board people swung into action 
and plastered the dead walls and boards of the nation 
with stirring appeals. Added to this, more than 37,000 
registration posters were displayed in the store-windows 
of some 600 cities. 

The output of the Division of Advertising, with its 
careful analysis of the details of registration, served also 
as ammunition for the Four Minute Men, and fifty thou- 
sand speakers backed up the printed word. Even the 
Division of Films was brought into the team-play. 

The following excerpt from a letter addressed to the 
Division of Advertising may be accepted as the general 
attitude of the entire War Department: 

Over and above the fine organization of the Committee's 
staff, as a whole, what has impressed me particularly in your 
division is the thoroughness with which you have organized the 
patriotic assistance of private citizens in contributing to the 
public service rendered by the Committee. It is genuinely 



American in its method this voluntary union of individual 
citizens to accomplish these results which in some continental 
countries are left to the vast army of government officials. 

[Signed] E. H. CHOWDER, 

In similar fashion the division planned and prepared 
the Shipping Board's campaign for 250,000 shipyard 
volunteers, swung into line on the Third and Fourth Liberty 
Loans, and handled special drives for the Department of 
Agriculture, the Council of National Defense, the Fuel 
and Food Commissions, the United War Work Drive, 
and the Red Cross. It was the division, by the way, that 
conceived the idea of that wonderful drawing " The Great- 
est Mother in the World," since used as the official Red 
Cross symbol, and appealing to the heart of humanity 
from every dead wall in every country. 

"Smileage" was another victory for the division. The 
Commission on Training Camp Activities, it may be re- 
membered, devised a system of camp theaters to which a 
small admission fee was charged. Ticket-books, known 
as "Smileage," were issued with the idea that the civilian 
population should buy them and present them to the 
soldiers so that the boys might not be put even to a mini- 
mum of expense. The Division of Advertising, almost in 
the very first week of its existence, took hold of this mori- 
bund plan and breathed the breath of a new life into it. 
The Smileage advertiser was prepared and printed an 
eight-page publication containing every known kind and 
size of "display ad." attractively illustrated and through 
donations of space by both press and merchants in each 
community these advertisements were reproduced until 
they reached the eye of virtually every American. Inside 
of three weeks the supply of printed books was sold out 
entirely and "Smileage," instead of sinking deeper into 
failure, rose to conspicuous success. 



When the Department of Labor launched its plan of 
government employment offices, Mr. Walberg carried the 
idea to the Division of Advertising, and the result was 
another demonstration of efficiency. The United States 
Employment Service Bulletin was issued sixteen pages of 
sample "ads." and 60,000 copies were circulated to the 
press, manufacturers, and advertisers. More than 11,000 
printed advertisements, ranging from one column to a 
page, were received by the Labor Department, showing 
the extent to which the contents of the bulletin had been 

With equal intelligence and enthusiasm, the division 
put itself back of the Committee in each and all of its 
undertakings. By way of experiment, the Committee 
sent some war trophies and war material to San Francisco, 
calling it the Allied War Exposition. The Division of 
Advertising saw its possibilities instantly, and it was due 
to its insistence, and a promise of its aid, that we changed 
the plan into the United States Government War Ex- 
position, enlarging and broadening the exhibit, and sent 
it across the country from coast to coast. In Chicago, 
for instance, we took the entire Lake front, erected build- 
ings and dug trenches, and in two weeks more than two 
million people entered the gates, our books showing a 
clean profit of $318,000 at the close. 

As in every other activity of the Committee, there is 
no exact method by which the value of the division's 
services can be measured in terms of money. We have 
record of advertising space in national mediums to the 
amount of $1,594,000. We know that the contributions 
of street-car advertising, billboards, and painted signs 
totaled about $250,000. No approximation can be made, 
however, of the thousands of columns used in the daily 
press, scores of miscellaneous donations, and the almost 
weekly window displays in 600 cities. Nor is it possible 



to figure the value of the volunteer aid rendered by agen- 
cies and employees, for not only was every hour of time 
an absolute gift, but not one cent of charge was ever made 
for services, or even for materials. When all is said and 
done, it may be stated in perfect safety that the contri- 
butions of the Division of Advertising, had they been paid 
for, would have cost the government $5,000,000. 

Money, however, is a poor measure of value in connection 
with the importances of life. Far above the donations 
of ability and space were the generous enthusiasms that 
every advertising man brought to bear upon the war effort 
of America. Had the Committee done nothing else, its 
existence would have been justified by the decision that 
gave advertising the dignity of a profession and incor- 
porated its dynamic abilities in American team-play. 



THERE is a certain sect in America that, for lack of a 
more forceful epithet, may be termed "American- 
izers." It was particularly active in the months that 
followed April, 1917. With the passion for minding other 
people's business that is the distinguishing mark of the sect, 
some of its disciples descended upon the humble tenement 
home of a Bohemian family in Chicago during the first 
summer of the war. 

"We are here," the spokesman announced, impressively, 
"in the interests of Americanization." 

"I'm sorry," faltered the woman of the house, "but 
you'll have to come back next week." 

"What!" The cry was a choice compound of protest 
and reproach. "You mean that you have no time for 
our message! That you want to put off your entrance 
into American life?" 

"No, no!" The poor Bohemian woman fell straightway 
into a panic, for not even a policeman has the austere 
authoritativeness of those who elect themselves to be 
light-bringers. "We're perfectly willing to be American- 
ized. Why, we never turn any of them away. But 
there's nobody home but me. All the boys volunteered, 
my man's working on munitions, and all the rest are out 
selling Liberty Bonds. I don't want you to get mad, 
but can't you come back next week?" 

This incident, true as gospel even if anecdotal, serves 



the purpose of volumes in setting forth accurately the war 
attitudes of both native-born and immigrant aliens. On 
the part of the native American there was often a firm 
conviction that our declaration of war carried an instant 
knowledge of English with it, and that all who persisted 
in speaking any other tongue after April 6, 1917, were 
either actual or potential "disloyalists," objects of merited 
suspicion and distrust; on the part of the overwhelming 
majority of aliens there was an almost passionate desire 
to serve America that was impeded at every turn by the 
meannesses of chauvinism and the brutalities of prejudice, 
as well as the short-sightedness of ignorance. 

Yet as long as history is read it will stand as a monument 
to the democratic experiment that in an hour of confusion 
and hysteria the American theory of unity stood the iron 
test of practice. For the most part, those of foreign birth 
or descent kept the faith in spite of every bitterness 
the great mass of the native population held to justice 
in spite of every incitement to hatred and persecution. 
And out of the test emerged an America triumphant, 
strengthened, and unstained! 

Speaking in terms of percentage, the amount of actual 
disloyalty was not large enough even to speck the shining 
patriotism of the millions of Americans that we refer to 
as "adopted." Nothing in the world was ever so smashed 
by developments as all those pre-war apprehensions that 
filled us with gloom. Who does not remember the fears 
of "wholesale disloyalty" that shook us daily? There 
were to be "revolutions" in Milwaukee, St. Louis, Cin- 
cinnati; armed uprisings here, there, and everywhere; 
small armies herding thousands of rebellious enemy aliens 
into huge internment camps; incendiarism, sabotage, 
explosions, murder, domestic riot. No imagination was 
too meager to paint a picture of America's adopted chil- 
dren turning faces of hatred to the motherland. 



The President went before Congress, a state of war 
was accepted formally, and even as one army gathered 
in the cantonments, another went out over the land to 
watch, to search, to listen. The Department of Justice 
had already in the field a large, intelligent, and well-trained 
organization; there was also the Secret Service of the 
Treasury Department, and into being swiftly sprang 
Military Intelligence, Naval Intelligence, Shipping Board 
Intelligence, etc.; and, by way of climax, the American 
Protective League, an organization of two hundred and 
fifty thousand "citizen volunteers" formed with the sanc- 
tion of the Attorney-General and operated under the direc- 
tion of the Bureau of Investigation. 

Never was a country so thoroughly contra-espionaged ! 
Not a pin dropped in the home of any one with a foreign 
name but that it rang like thunder on the inner ear of some 
listening sleuth! And with what result? 

A scientific system of registration, prescribed by law, 
revealed that there were about five hundred thousand 
German "enemy aliens" living in the United States, and 
between three and four million "Austro-Hungarian enemy 
aliens." These figures, as a matter of course, did not 
include the millions of naturalized citizens, or the sons 
and daughters of such millions. Out of this large number 
just six thousand were adjudged sufficiently disaffected to 
be detained under presidential warrants! Even a per- 
centage of these, as a matter of common sense and justice, 
were eventually released from the army internment camps 
under a strict parole system. 

As for criminal prosecutions, 1,532 persons were arrested 
under the provisions of the Espionage Act prohibiting dis- 
loyal utterance, propaganda, etc.; 65 persons for threats 
against the President; 10 persons for sabotage; and under 
the penal code, with relation to conspiracy, 908 indict- 
ments were returned, the last group including the I. W 



W. cases. Even this does not spell guilt in every instance, 
for there have been acquittals as well as convictions, and 
many trials are yet to be held. 

With full allowance for flagrant cases of intrigue and 
treachery, for the disloyalists that may have escaped the 
meshes of even so fine a net, for the disloyalty that can- 
not be measured in terms of jail and indictment taken 
all in all, no belligerent country, not even those invaded, 
made as good a record of unity and loyalty. 

After all the hubbub about "rebellion," "armed up- 
risings," "monster internment camps," etc., the showing 
was, to put it plainly, rather disappointing. In all of us 
there is a certain savage something that thrills ,to the 
man-hunt. People generally, and the press particularly, 
were keyed up to a high pitch, an excited distrust of our 
foreign population, and a percentage of editors and poli- 
ticians were eager for a campaign of "hate" at home. 

There is a simplicity about hate that makes it peculiarly 
attractive to a certain type of mind. It makes no demand 
on the mental processes, it does not require reading or 
thinking, estimate or analysis, and by reason of its instant 
removal of every doubt it gives an effect of decision, a 
sense of well-being. When the facts developed by the 
investigatory branches of government failed to provide 
sound foundation for a "hate campaign," these editors, 
politicians, and what not, commenced to build a little foun- 
dation of their own. Officials were arraigned for inefficiency 
and spinelessness, "firing-squads" were demanded with 
frequency and passion, and fake after fake was sprung, 
many of them laughable but for their appeals to preju- 
dice and hysteria. 

Take just one typical instance out of many: A man 
whose name need not be mentioned was arrested in De- 
cember, 1917, and on the heels of his arrest these exagger- 
ations were printed in rapid succession: that he was a 



former German officer of high rank; that he was a master 
spy known to have been in communication with Bernstorff, 
Boy-Ed, and other high German officers prior to our decla- 
ration of war; that he arrived in this country on the sub- 
marine U-53; that after the commencement of the Euro- 
pean War he went back to Germany and later returned 
to the United States; that at times he disguised himself 
in the uniform of an American army officer; that he was 
arrested while in the act of lighting a fuse or match for an 
American army magazine; that a number of men were 
known to have been employed in his spy machinations; 
that money was advanced to him by the German spy 
system, etc. As a matter of fact, all the investigators 
and investigations failed to prove anything more than 
that he was a German reservist, in this country since 1910, 
and a poor sort, unable to hold any job long. 

Every fire, every explosion in a munition-plant, every 
accident on land or sea, was straightway credited to the 
"spy system"; if the cut in a child's hand didn't heal 
quickly, then the "Germans" had put germs in all the 
court-plaster; if any experiment in submarine or aircraft 
factory failed, it was undoubtedly because the "spies" 
had tampered with delicate mechanism or dropped acid 
on the wires; if a woman's headache didn't yield to reme- 
dies, then the "Germans" had "doped" the particular 
pill or powder. I am not saying that none of these things 
happened; but what happened was out of all proportion 
to the dimensions of the mad rumors that swept the country ; 
yet through it all the great, splendid majority of America's 
"aliens" stood fast, discharging their full duty to the 
United States in a manner that shamed the patriotism 
of many an heir to the traditions of Plymouth Rock. 

In the year and a half of my chairmanship of the Com- 
mittee on Public Information, a stream of people poured 
through the office daily, of all colors, creeds, and races; 



and out of that nightmare of solicitation, selfish purposes, 
and personal aggrandizements I can recall with gratitude 
that never once did any foreign-born American come to 
me for any other purpose than an offer of service to the 
United States or some plan of sacrifice. When it comes 
to motives, of course, I am unable to estimate the possible 
weight of caution or fear; but the mere fact is too signifi- 
cant to be negligible. 

Among the six thousand people interned were many 
Germans as full of disloyalty as an adder is full of venom. 
There were Germans, Austrians, and Hungarians in the 
United States not interned, who hid disloyalty in their 
hearts; nor may it be denied that there is still a great 
work to do among the German population to burn 'away 
entirely the last trace of Deutschtum. But against this 
minority must be balanced an overwhelming majority 
of Germans who offered their lives to cleanse the honor 
stained by the treachery and ingratitude of others. 

It is estimated by military authorities that from 10 
to 15 per cent, of the American Expeditionary Forces 
were men of German birth or origin. How they conducted 
themselves on the firing-line is a matter of history, for in 
the imperishable records of the War Department Ameri- 
cans of foreign birth and descent have written the story 
of their valor on every page. In the list of those cited 
for distinguished service by General Pershing, nothing 
is more significant than the fact that name after name 
betokens other than native origin. Here are a few illus- 
trative samples: 

Lieutenant Kuehlman, Field Engineers: "Sent on night 
of August fifth-sixth to make a reconnaissance of all pos- 
sible means of crossing the river Vesle, near Fismes, 
France. It had been reported that the Germans had all 
retreated from the south bank of the river, but he found 
that such was not the case; they were there in force; 



nevertheless, such was his bravery and determination that 
he crossed into and through the German lines, made a 
full reconnaissance, and returned with his report." 

First Lieutenant Frank Baer, S. R. C. pilot, 103d Aero 
Pursuit Squadron: "For the following repeated acts of 
extraordinary heroism in action, April 5, 12, and 13, May 
8 and 21, 1918, Lieutenant Baer is awarded a bronze oak 
leaf to be worn on the Distinguished Service Cross awarded 
him April 12, 1918. Lieutenant Baer brought down 
enemy 'planes on April 5, April 12, and on April 21, 1918. 
On May 4, 1918, he destroyed two German machines and 
on May 21st he destroyed his eighth enemy 'plane." 

Private Bernard Schuliheis: "When the infantry was 
advancing in a position exposed to cross-fire, volunteered 
and carried a message to advancing troops, informing them 
that the machine-gun barrage laid down on the enemy 
emplacements was friendly fire from a unit not in their 
support and acting without orders to cover the advance. 
He delivered the message, returned across an open field 
swept by enemy machine-guns, and thereby made it pos- 
sible for the infantry unit to advance four hundred meters 
and gain its objective." 

Sergeant John Blohm: "From a shell-hole in which he 
had taken shelter while returning from a successful day- 
light patrol across the Vesle River, Sergeant Blohm saw 
a corporal of his patrol dragging himself through the grass 
and bleeding profusely from a wound in his neck. He 
unhesitatingly left his shelter, carried the corporal behind 
a tree near the river-bank, dressed his wounds, and, using 
boughs from a fallen tree as an improvised raft, towed 
the injured man across the river and carried him two 
hundred yards over an open field to the American outpost 
line, all under continuous rifle and machine-gun fire." 

The Distinguished Service Cross went posthumously 
to the following: Sergeant L. W. Pilcher, Corporal R. 



McC. Fischer, Corporal Charles Auer, Corporal V. M. 
Schwab, Sergeant Bernard Werner. 

As it was with our German-born, so it was in even 
larger degree with all the other foreign elements in our 

Throughout its existence, the Committee on Public 
Information maintained intimate contact with over twenty 
foreign-language groups, and while this contact had its 
tremendous depression, there were also splendid inspi- 
rations. It was inspiring to see the passion of the immi- 
grant peoples for freedom, their pathetic devotion to the 
professed ideals of America, their determination to be 
"real" Americans, and to watch their devotion persist 
in spite of persecution, neglect, and misunderstanding; 
it was depressing to discover how little America had done 
for them, how small a part the alien played in America's 
love and thought. 

Nothing is more true than that people "do not live by 
bread alone." The great majority live on catch phrases. 
For years the United States had discharged its duty to 
the immigrant by glib reference to the melting-pot, and yet 
it has been years since the melting-pot has done any melt- 
ing to speak of. These hopeful thousands, coming to the 
land of promise with their hearts in their hands, have been 
treated with every indifference, and only in the most 
haphazard way have they been brought into touch with the 
bright promise of American life. 

Cheated by employers, lawyers, loan sharks, and em- 
ployment agencies; excluded from American social and 
religious life as "wops," "Dagoes," and "hunkies"; given 
opportunity to learn English only at casual night-schools 
after brain-deadening days of toil; herded in ghettoes and 
foreign quarters by their poverties and ignorances ; and then, 
after all this, when war brought these millions to our 
attention, we actually wondered why they had not been 



"Americanized," and cried out against foreign languages, 
a "foreign press," and a "foreign pulpit" as evidences 
of disloyalty. 

In spite of the past, with all of its cruelties and despairs, 
the foreign-born were loyal, and, what is even more in- 
spiring, they grew in loyalty despite new persecutions 
initiated by mistaken patriotism. For instance, the gov- 
ernor of Iowa proclaimed the following rules: 

"First English should and must be the only medium 
of instruction in public, private, denominational, or other 
similar schools. 

"Second Conversation in public places, on trains, or 
over the telephone should be in the English language. 

" Third All public addresses should be in the English 

"Fourth Let those who cannot speak or understand 
the English language conduct their religious worship in 
their homes." 

In other states, similar prohibitions were put into effect, 
and sudden and fundamental changes were worked not 
only in the schools, churches, and the press, but in the 
whole social structure. No effort at distinction was made 
the language of Allied and neutral countries being put 
under the ban as well as enemy languages. 

There can be no denial of the evil that was attempted 
to be cured. In our schools, our churches, our press, and 
in our social life, English should be the one accepted language, 
and this must of necessity be our goal. But it was crimi- 
nal to let the ideal of to-morrow alter the facts of to-day. 
We faced the conditions that there were hundreds of 
thousands of foreigners in the United States who could 
not speak any language but their own and through no 
fault of their own. The drive against the use of foreign 
languages, either written or spoken, merely shut off these 
thousands from contact with American life, with the 



danger of pushing them farther into ignorance and aloof- 
ness, and robbing us of the opportunity to win their under- 
standing and co-operation. 

The Czechoslovaks were the first to come to us with 
reports of the cruelties and injustices worked by these 
regulations in the various states. A great people indom- 
itable, devoted! Over sixty thousand fought in the Amer- 
ican army, thousands enlisting voluntarily at the outset 
of war; there were about thirty thousand in the Czecho- 
slovak army in Italy, and about ninety thousand fought 
in Siberia. It will be news to many to learn that the first 
real blow against German and American intrigue in the 
United States was struck by the Bohemian National 
Alliance. With the assistance of some Czechoslovak 
officials at the Austrian consulates, and through a most 
remarkable machinery of espionage, the Bohemians de- 
feated plot after plot against America and brought out the 
evidence that resulted in the recall of Dumba. The 
Czechoslovak societies were the only ones that adopted 
the rule that every member must own a Liberty bond. 

Even these people, however, whose courage and loyalty 
have become proverbs, were not spared persecution by 
provincial ignorance. In one Texas town, virtually all 
the young men of the Czechoslovak colony volunteered, 
and their departure was made the occasion of a great demon- 
stration. Many old people were there, and the speeches 
were in the native tongue. Without any attempt to 
inquire into the nature of the meeting, "native patriots" 
threw rocks in the window, attacked the audience, and 
drove them forth from the building as though they_had 
been Huns caught in some atrocity. 

In Iowa and Nebraska, meetings held to secure recruits 
for the Czechoslovak army were broken up because English 
was not used, and from scores of communities we received 
pathetic letters telling how Bohemian parents, who had 



given all their sons to the American army, were hounded 
as traitors because they could not speak English. 

The Council of Defense for Seward County, Nebraska, 
requested all the churches in the district to conduct their 
services in English, except one for old people who could 
not understand English. The minister of the Danish 
Lutheran church of Staplehurst, one Hansen, asked the 
Council's permission to continue preaching in Danish 
because he was not young when he came to America, also 
because his bad ears had prevented him from learning 
English sufficiently well to preach in it. The Council 
denied his request and also refused him a year's grace 
while he found other work to support himself and his 

The Danish Young People's Society of America changed 
a "loyalty convention" from Iowa because forbidden 
the use of Danish. Queerly enough, many of the members 
of the society speak and understand Danish but poorly, 
and, under ordinary circumstances, always use English 
among themselves. But as 85 per cent, of the mem- 
bers were serving in the United States army and navy, 
the members deeply resented the charge that the use of 
Danish in any way interfered with their patriotism. 

Sheer stubbornness, of course, but exceedingly natural. 
The Danes, Norse, and Swedes are proud people, and very 
"set," and it stung them unbearably to be adjudged 
unpatriotic in any degree and to have their native tongues 
put under the ban along with German. But while they re- 
sented and protested, even working hard to remember a 
language half forgotten, they never failed to make them- 
selves understood in every Liberty Loan drive, Red Cross 
rally, or at every recruiting station. 

All the while the foreign-born, patiently, indomitably, 
were writing a record of devotion shot through with ser- 
vice and sacrifice. In Milwaukee a group of Polish women 



evolved an idea that spread all over the United States into 
every racial group. In order that their husbands might 
fight, these Polish women clubbed together by sixes and 
eights, rented a house, selected from among themselves 
a housekeeper who took care of the house and the children 
while the other five or seven went to work. In this way, 
their living expenses were cut down so that they could 
not only support themselves and relieve their husbands 
from any anxiety about them, but were even able to buy 
Liberty bonds from their savings. 

The Italians in the United States are about 4 per 
cent, of the whole population, but the list of casualties 
shows a full 10 per cent, of Italian names. More than 
three hundred thousand Italians figured on the army list, 
and in defense of the inner lines as well as on the firing- 
lines they proved their devotion to their adopted country. 
There was no shipyard, ammunition - factory, airplane- 
factory, steel-mill, mine, lumber-camp, or docks in which 
the Italians did not play a large part, and often the most 
prominent part, in actual and efficient work. In some 
places, such as mines and docks, the Italians reached 
fully 30 per cent, of the total number of employees, 
working at all times with full and affectionate loyalty 
toward the government of the United States. For in- 
stance, when a strike was threatened in one of the big 
industrial centers, it was an Italian who jumped on a box 
and cried, "If you leave work now, it will be as though 
you were sneaking back out of a trench, abandoning your 
comrades at the time of a fight when they need you most." 
And the strike was averted. 

The Lithuanians, of whom there are about one million 
in the United States, gave thirty thousand soldiers to the 
colors, 50 per cent, of them volunteers. At the close of 
the Fourth Liberty Loan, the leaders assured us that there 
was not a Lithuanian home in the United States in which 



the family savings had not been invested in bonds or War 
Savings Stamps. 

There are about 15,000 Russians in the United States 
army and the total contribution of Russians to the Fourth 
Liberty Loan was $40,000,000. 

The National Croatian Society, with a membership 
of 42,000, did these three things: adopted one of the most 
ringing declarations of loyalty ever penned; decreed ex- 
pulsion for any member expressing a disloyal sentiment 
or attempting to evade military service; bought $300,000 
of Liberty bonds, and donated over $50,000 to Red Cross 

In the army were 60,000 men of Greek birth or descent, 
and it is estimated that the Greek purchase of Liberty 
bonds was well over $30,000,000 for the four drives, all 
coming in small amounts that represented sacrifice. 

It is a record that could be stretched out into pages, 
for there is not a foreign-language group in the United 
States that did not answer America's call with devotion 
and understanding, pathetically proud of their Liberty 
bonds and their service flags, and feeling every individual 
instance of indifference or disloyalty as a stain and a shame. 
But never at any time were we able to fix this record in 
the consciousness of the American people or to induce 
the press of the United States to give it prominence or even 
recognition. It was infinite labor to get noted Americans 
to address the foreign-language groups, and great loyalty 
meetings of the foreign-born, where thousands pledged 
lives and money and love, either went unnoticed by the 
papers or were given an indifferent little note of two or 
three lines. 

As if prejudice, indifference, and misguided patriotism 
were not handicaps enough in the fight for unity, politics 
also played an ugly part in the drama of confusion. 
Particularly was this true in the Northwest, where Scandi- 



navians and Germans are in the majority among the 
farmers. There is no doubt that many of these people 
were pro-German at the outset, and, even after America's 
entrance, pro-Germanism persisted by reason of well- 
established lies and certain fundamental ignorances. 

The Committee on Public Information, formed to fight 
disaffection, attacked the Northwest at once. Our pam- 
phlets and motion pictures, received somewhat coldly at 
first, soon began to gain ground, and the next move was 
to send speakers, for there is nothing like the give and take 
of a public meeting to burn away misunderstanding. 
The one organization that we wanted most particularly 
to reach was the Nonpartisan League, for it had a mem- 
bership that covered the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana, 
and Idaho, and, more than any other, was impregnated 
with the lie about a "rich man's war." 

The leaders of the Nonpartisan League came personally 
to Washington to ask the government to commence a 
campaign of patriotic education, and Minnesota was se- 
lected for the initiation of the drive. Our speakers, 
however, upon arrival in Minnesota, were informed by 
the State Public Safety Commission that they would not 
be allowed to address any meetings arranged by the 
Nonpartisan League or under its auspices. There was 
no quarrel with the men we sent, for the Commission 
asked permission to use them in its own speaking campaign. 

As we tried to explain to them, however, the main 
purpose in sending speakers over the United States was not 
to address those already enthusiastic in the national 
service, but to reach and convert people out of touch and 
sympathy with American thought and aims. Even if 
the Nonpartisan League were disloyal, then the more 
reason why our speakers should smash at its membership 
with the truth. But the State Public Safety Commission 
stood like iron, barred our speakers absolutely, and inaugu- 



rated a campaign of terrorism that had its ugly reflex 
among the farmers and labor unions in every state. 

In summer the proscribed farmers were compelled to 
hold Liberty Loan rallies or Red Cross meetings out in 
the fields under the blazing sun, and in winter they huddled 
in cowsheds and car-barns. Parades were stopped by 
Home Guards or broken up by townsmen. Old men and 
women were dragged from automobiles, and on one 
wretched occasion a baby of six months was torn from its 
mother's arms by the powerful stream from a fire-hose. 
Tar-and-feather "parties" were common, and even de- 
portations took place, men being driven from their homes 
and from the very state because they had sons belonging 
to the League. 

There is no doubt as to the political nature of the per- 
secution. The Nonpartisan League had carried the state 
of North Dakota, and was showing such strength in 
Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, and Idaho 
as to arouse the alarm of Democratic and Republican 
politicians. These leaders made no bones about confessing 
that the disloyalty issue was the means by which they 
hoped to crush and destroy the Nonpartisan League as 
a political organization. 

Such is the seeming invincibility of the democratic 
ideal, however, that even campaigns of terrorism could 
not drive its membership, largely German and Scandi- 
navian, into disloyalty. North Dakota, where the League 
elected every state officer, had a war record of which any 
state might be proud. 

The State Councils of Defense did splendid work, as 
a rule, and the country owes much to them, but there were 
exceptions that aroused far more anger than loyalty, 
conducting themselves in a manner that would have been 
lawless in any other than a "patriotic" body. During 
Liberty Loan drives, for instance, it became a habit, in 



certain sections, to compel a regular income return from 
the foreign-born and the poorer classes. Men, claiming 
authority, would visit these homes, insist upon a statement 
of earnings, expenditures, savings, etc., and then calmly 
announce the amount of the contribution that the dazed 
victims were expected to make. Anything in the nature 
of resistance was set down as "slacking" and "disloyalty," 
and some of the penalties visited were expulsion from the 
community, personal ill treatment, or a pleasant little 
attention like painting the house yellow. Of all the bit- 
ternesses and disaffections reported to us, the majority 
proceeded from this sort of terrorism, and it had results 
that will be felt for years to come. 

Another handicap in the fight for national unity soon 
presented itself in the form of those volunteer patriotic 
societies that sprang up over the land like mushrooms, 
all sincere and loyal enough, but demoralizing often by 
virtue of this very eagerness. These organizations col- 
lected their funds by public appeal, and as the most obvious 
justification of existence was furnished by publicity, 
their activities inevitably took such form as would earn 
the largest amount of newspaper space. As a consequence, 
their patriotism was a thing of screams, violence, and 
extremes; they outjingoed the worst of the jingoes, and 
their constant practice of extreme statement left a trail 
of anger, irritation, and resentment. 

One instance may be cited as illustrative. Prof. Robert 
McNutt McElroy of the National Security League, re- 
turning from a three weeks' tour of the West, gave out 
a statement in which he said that he had known what 
it was "to face large bodies of young men clad in the 
uniform of the American army beneath which were con- 
cealed the souls of Prussians." Later, in The New York 
Tribune, he gave the University of Wisconsin as the place 
where he had encountered disloyalty. The basis of the 

13 181 


charge was the inattention of the audience throughout 
his speech, shuffling feet, snapping of rifle triggers, etc., 
and he told how, finally, to test the audience, he leaned 
forward and deliberately insulted them as "a bunch of 
damned traitors"; how, to his amazement, there was no 
resentment whatever of this or of his later reference to 
"a Prussian audience." "I hesitate to accuse an entire 
university of disloyalty," he said, "but to my mind that 
episode stands out as one of the most disgraceful things 
I have encountered." 

Dr. Charles R. Van Hise, president of the university, 
John Bradley Winslow, Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court of Wisconsin, and E. A. Birge of the College of 
Science and Letters were appointed as a committee of 
protest, and their report asserted that the address had 
been long; that the audience included the cadet regiment 
students who had marched two and a half miles in 
the rain and were wet and cold; that, being present under 
orders and unable to withdraw, they merely indicated 
their desire for an end to the long speech; that Professor 
McElroy's reflections on their loyalty were made in a tone 
so low that persons within twenty feet of him did not 
hear the words at all. 

Thus, then, by reason of a speaker who failed to hold 
an audience of boys throughout an address of two hours, 
the loyalty of a state was impugned, the patriotism of a 
great university was besmirched, and a new element of 
anger and justifiable resentment introduced into the 
already delicate Wisconsin situation. 

And so the story runs on drearily, vommes being neces- 
sary for any complete and circumstantial account of the 
obstacles thrown in the way of the millions of foreign birth 
or descent as they marched forward from every state in 
answer to the battle-call of their adopted country. The big 
fact is that they continued to march and that they arrived. 



We are even now so close to the trees that we cannot 
see the forest. All that we have known is the underbrush 
of irritation, the tearing vines of prejudice, and the poison- 
ivy of politics. But when the day is come that we are on 
a 'hill, blessed with vision and perspective, it will be seen 
that the rallying of America was not sectional nor yet 
racial, but that it was the tremendous response of a unified 
whole, with men and women from other lands standing 
shoulder to shoulder with the native-born, serving and 
sacrificing with the same devotion, and in equal measure 
pouring their blood on the altar of freedom. 



THE loyalty of "our aliens," however, splendid as it 
was, had in it nothing of the spontaneous or the ac- 
cidental. Results were obtained only by hard, driving 
work. The bitterness bred by years of neglect and in- 
justice were not to be dissipated by any mere war-call, 
but had to be burned away by a continuous educational 
campaign. The real America had to be revealed to these 
foreign-language groups its drama of hope and struggle, 
success and blunders and their minds had to be filled 
with the tremendous truth that the fight against Germany 
was a fight for all that life has taught decent human 
beings to hold dear. 

This campaign succeeded because the Committee avoided 
the professional "Americanizers," and steered clear of 
the accepted forms of "Americanization." We worked 
from the inside, not from the outside, aiding each group to 
develop its own loyalty league, and utilizing the natural 
and existing leaders, institutions, and machinery. We 
offered co-operation and supervision, and we gave counsel, 
not commands. As a consequence, each group had its 
own task, its own responsibility, and as soon as these 
facts were clearly understood the response was immediate. 

Mr. Edwin Bjorkman, the auther and publicist, was 
selected to go to the Scandinavian group with the plan, 
and in a short while the Americans of Swedish birth and 



Bfl.../iafc__ M 




descent organized the John Ericsson League of Patriotic 
Service with the following Executive Committee: Harry 
Olsen, president, Chicago, 111.; Harry A. Lund, vice- 
president, Minneapolis, Minn.; Edwin Bjorkman, secre- 
tary, New York; Henry S. Henschen, treasurer, Chicago; 
Chas. S. Peterson, chairman Finance Committee, Chicago; 
Gustaf Andreen, Rock Island, 111.; J. C. Bergquist, New 
York; J. E. Chilberg, Seattle, Wash.; Andrew Langquist, 
Chicago; Othelia Myhrman, Chicago; Eric Norton, St. 
Paul, Minn.; and Victor Olander, Chicago. 

Then came the Jacob A. Riis League of Patriotic Ser- 
vice, formed by the Danes, with this Executive Board: 
Max Henius, president, Chicago; Sophus F. Neble, first 
vice-president, Omaha, Neb.; John C. Christensen, sec- 
ond vice-president, Chicago; Carl Antonsen, secretary, 
Chicago; Jens C. Hanse, treasurer and chairman Fi- 
nance Committee, Chicago; Axel Hellrung, New York; 
Henry L. Hertz, Chicago ; William Hovgaard, Washington, 
D. C.; Halvor Jacobsen, New York; and Truels P. Niel- 
sen, Seattle, Wash. 

Because of the large number of Norwegian-American 
clubs, societies, and fraternal organizations throughout 
the country, all busy with patriotic work and war activi- 
ties, no separate Norwegian organization for this purpose 
was deemed advisable or necessary. Moreover, every 
prominent Norwegian-American stood ready at all times 
to assist with his counsel and influence, and among those 
of great service to the Committee may be mentioned 
Magnus Swensen, Madison, Wis., federal food administra- 
tor of Wisconsin, and Mr. Herbert Hoover's chief assistant 
in Northern Europe; Mr. Lauritz S. Swensen, Minneapolis, 
former United States Minister to Norway; Mr. John P. 
Howland, Chicago ; Attorney Andrew Hummelarid, Chicago ; 
Birger Osland, Chicago, major in the United States army, 
attached to the American Legation, Christiania, Norway; 



Joachim G. Giaver, president of the Chicago Norwegian 
Club, Chicago; Mr. Hauman G. Haugan, director of the 
State Bank of Chicago; Oscar M. Torrisen, Chicago; Louis 
M. Anderson, publisher of Skandinaven, Chicago; Mr. A. N. 
Rygg, vice-president of the Norwegian News Co., Brooklyn, 
N. Y.; the Rev. J. A. O. Stub, Minneapolis; and many 

The Finns formed the Lincoln Loyalty League, with 
O. J. Larson as president and J. H. Jasberg as secretary. 

The Roman Legion, under the brilliant leadership of 
Dr. Antonio Stella and Dr. Albert Bonaschi, proved a 
power among the Americans of Italian birth and descent, 
and I have always felt that it was this body, as much as 
any one other source of strength, that enabled Italy to 
make such an amazing recovery from the Caporetto 
disaster. In that hour of despair, cablegrams and letters 
were poured into Italy from the United States by the 
thousands, going from individuals, pastors, societies, and 
associations, calling upon the soldiers of Savoy to stand 
fast, that the Americans were coming and every dollar 
and every life in America was pledged to victory. 

Charles Pergler, now representing the Republic of 
Czechoslovakia in Japan, was our reliance always in dealing 
with the peoples from Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia, 
and when Dr. Thomas Garrigues Masaryk came to the 
United States he put himself wholly and generously at 
our disposal. 

For work among the Poles we had Paderewski, as a 
matter of course, wonderful in his devotions, enthusiasm, 
and genius for leadership, and there was also Sigismund 
Ivanowski, that great painter and even greater man. 
John Wedda, John Smulski, and many others, actuated 
by the same pure passions, were also sources of strength. 

Then there were our close contacts with the Serbian 
Legation and the Japanese Embassy; with Captain Stoica, 



representing the Rumanians; with Doctor Hinkovic, 
representing the Jugoslavs, and with Doctor Szlupas of 
the Lithuanian National Council. 

Work among the Hungarian population was intrusted 
to Mr. Alexander Konta of New York, who gave time, 
money, and finest faith to a difficult and thankless task. 
It was not only that certain vicious factional elements 
threw every possible obstacle in his path, but he was 
equally attacked by The New York Tribune and similar 
papers that made a business of chauvinism. Undismayed 
and undiscouraged, Mr. Konta continued the work, and 
the American-Hungarian Loyalty League played no small 
part in our national unity, for men of Magyaj stock 
figured importantly in the coal and steel industries. 

The American Friends of German Democracy was 
another organization that had to run the gantlet of secret 
disloyalty and a stupid chauvinism. The pro-Kaiser 
brand of German-America fought it as a matter of course, 
and murder threats were common. The word "democ- 
cracy" was an offense to the majority of the "better class," 
who derided the idea of a German republic as "imbecile" 
and "impudent." The chief enemies, however, were 
pseudo-patriots and hue-and-cry newspapers, none of them 
losing a chance to harass. Also, at regular intervals, 
some broken-arched representative of the Department of 
Justice would stalk into the office, convinced that he had 
unearthed a "nest of German spies." 

I did not put the full force of the Committee behind the 
American Friends of German Democracy until its person- 
nel and purposes had been subjected to every investigation, 
but only the intimacies of contact gave me full apprecia- 
tion of the courage and patriotism of the men in charge 
of the movement. For instance, the president was Franz 
Sigel of New York, the son of that general of the same 
name who, after having fought for liberty in Germany, 



came to the United States and offered an exile's sword 
to Lincoln. Its honorary president was the late Dr. 
Abraham Jacobi, the famous physician who, after having 
been imprisoned for his liberal opinions by the Prussian 
government, fled to this country to become a beloved 
citizen and an honor to the medical profession. The most 
powerful spokesman of the movement was Rudolph 
Blankenburg, the former Mayor of Philadelphia, whose 
death in the spring of 1918 deprived America of one of 
its ablest and most honored public servants. J. Koettgen, 
the secretary, and the heart and soul of the movement, 
was another of those free minds who had long been fight- 
ing the Prussian system. He was of German birth and 
blood, but no heir to the traditions of Plymouth Rock 
had a finer, more virile conception of what it meant to be 
an American. 

Among the men who helped most at all times were 
Dr. Frederick L. Hoffman, celebrated as a statistician; 
Dr. S. Adolphus Knopf, chosen by the War Department 
to instruct the American soldiers in France how to keep 
free from tuberculosis. In Chicago it was Mr. Otto C. 
Butz, who gathered round him all the actively patriotic 
Americans of German descent. In Wisconsin Mr. Karl 
Mathie did yeoman work for the cause of America and de- 
mocracy. Some of the strongest supporters of the move- 
ment were business men like the late William Sleicher of 
Troy, N. Y., and Charles J. Schlegel of New York. From 
Cleveland, Ohio, a steady stream of personal letters, 
appeals, and pamphlets went out from Dr. Christian 
Sihler, the son of the German officer and clergyman who 
many decades ago came to Fort Wayne, Ind., to establish 
one of the most flourishing Lutheran communities. Miss 
K. Elizabeth Sihler seconded her brother's efforts in 
Fort Wayne. Dr. William Bohn addressed hundreds of 
meetings attended by people of German origin, and under- 



stood, as did few others, liow to arouse the feeling of Amer- 
ican loyalty. Mr. William Forster of New York and 
Mr. Richard Lieber of Indianapolis proved most convin- 
cing and effective speakers. Prof. Otta Manthey-Zorn, 
the son of a German missionary, who would not bow his 
knee to Bismarck and brought his band of missionaries 
into the free atmosphere of the United States, stirred the 
interest of the German-born in the New England States. 
Mr. Henry Riesenberg, a business man, formerly of Indian- 
apolis, now of New York, employed all of his spare time 
in addressing public meetings. 

The most effective work, however, was probably done 
by the host of plain men and women whose names are 
not widely known. There was, for instance, Mr. George 
Schauer of Indianapolis, who acted as organizer for Indiana. 
A Bavarian peasant who settled in the United States 
after having been ill-treated in the German army, Mr. 
Schauer attacked his task with rare enthusiasm and de- 
votion, and soon became indispensable to all patriotic 
organizations in Indiana. Then there was Mr. William 
R. Bricker, the organizer for Pennsylvania, to whom the 
war provided the opportunity to prove his great organizing 

The work of the organization was carried on through 
many activities. During the war, hundreds of meetings 
were held throughout the country. Among the bodies 
that gave the most powerful support must be mentioned 
the Turners, whose democratic origin and tendencies lined 
them up quite naturally on the side of the United States 
and its cobelligerents. 

About a million pamphlets were distributed, chiefly 
to members of the thousands of clubs and benefit societies 
formed by the people of German blood. One of the most 
notable publications was the edition of Lichnowsky's fa- 
mous memorandum, with an introduction by Mr. Koett- 



gen. The pamphlet was republished in full by many 
German-language newspapers in this country, and proved 
itself an effective answer to the lies spread by German 

Throughout the war the German Bureau kept in closest 
touch with the German-language press of the United 
States. A weekly bulletin was published both in German 
and English. The German edition was sent to two hun- 
dred German-language newspapers and reached about 
two million readers. The English edition went to four 
hundred American newspapers published mainly in those 
parts of the country where the German population is nu- 
merous. The American newspapers expressed themselves 
in the most laudatory terms about this press service. 

Some of the most interesting work was done abroad. 
Nearly every member of the American Friends of German 
Democracy was eager to send some word of good counsel to 
his blood-relations in Germany. The justice of America's 
cause was always emphasized, but the chief point would 
be that it was high time for the Germans to get rid of the 
Hohenzollerns and militarism. These documents were 
smuggled into Germany by the foreign representatives 
of the Committee on Public Information, a number of 
methods being used. Rather amusingly a splendid appeal 
written by Capt. A. L. Helwig, an American soldier 
born in Hamburg, Germany, and a member of the Exec- 
utive Committee of the American Friends of German 
Democracy, was carried across the line quite openly. 
One day, in a certain Scandinavian country, the courier 
of the German Legation, just about to leave for Germany, 
was stopped by a very military-looking stranger who 
performed the Prussian kotow in the most approved 
fashion. This stranger, handing the courier a great bundle 
of pamphlets, stated that they were to be delivered to 
the newspapers and Socialist groups in Hamburg by order 



of the German Minister. The courier carried out the com- 
mission and Helwig's appeal created no little furor in 

The most effective contact, however, was with the 
German refugees in Switzerland, a brilliant, fearless group 
of radical democrats headed by such men as Doctor 
Greeling, author of J y accuse, Doctor Muehlon, and Doctor 
Rosenmeyer. These publicists, exiled from Germany by 
reason of their fight against Prussianism, published the 
Freie Zeitung, a biweekly paper that managed to slip 
across the line in considerable numbers. Dr. Frank Bohn, 
proceeding to Switzerland as the representative of the 
American Friends of German Democracy, established 
co-operation arrangements that continued until the armis- 
tice. A steady stream of articles went to the Freie 
Zeitung from the United States, and each week several 
thousand copies of the paper came to the United States 
for distribution among the German-language press, clubs, 
and societies. 

At first the Germans pretended not to notice the Amer- 
ican organization, but finally they could not contain their 
wrath. Some of the most prominent German newspapers 
published violent articles against the American Friends, 
and "dirty pigs" came to be a favorite epithet. 

All these bodies worked well and successfully, but as time 
went on it was seen that more direct methods were neces- 
sary, and in May, 1918, the Division of Work Among the 
Foreign-born was formed. Miss Josephine Roche, in virtual 
charge of all these various activities from the first, was made 
director of the new division, and it is to her faith, vision, 
and rare devotions that the amazing results were due. 
Under Miss Roche, the government frankly established 
direct and continuous contact with fourteen racial groups 
through the following bureaus: the Italian, Hungarian, 
Lithuanian, Russian, Jugoslav, Czechoslovak, Polish, 



German (American Friends of German Democracy), 
Ukrainian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch, 
and the Foreign Information Service Bureau. 

While the bureaus all had the same aim for their work, 
and all employed similar methods, each group presented 
problems entirely its own and demanded specialized 
attention. The press and the organizations, national 
and local, were the nucleus of the work, and in the cases 
of the Italian, the Czechoslovak, and the Scandinavian 
groups these activities met every need. 

For other foreign-language groups, such as the Russian, 
Polish, Jugoslav, and Ukrainian, the press alone was not 
a sufficient means of contact: either it was not as widely 
distributed and influential among them or the consider- 
able degree of illiteracy among the people made results 
from the written communication incomplete. The pub- 
lication of pamphlets and considerable work through trips 
was therefore undertaken by these bureau managers. 
The Polish, Lithuanian, Hungarian, and Ukrainian bu- 
reaus did about an equal amount of their work through 
press and organization contacts and through field-work. 

For the fourteen foreign-language groups there are 
approximately 865 foreign-language newspapers. About 
745 of this number were issued regularly, and it was to 
these that the division sent its press services. Only 32 
papers did not use the material, all but three of these being 
small papers of a highly specialized character; 96 per cent, 
of the papers availed themselves extensively of the ma- 
terial. Very many papers used all but a few releases, and 
it was a frequent occurrence to have foreign-language 
papers come in carrying on their front page two or three 
columns of the bureaus' material. 

National and local organizations, fraternal, educational, 
religious, beneficial, and social in type, are a powerful 
factor among the foreign-speaking groups. Their con- 



ventions bring together hundreds of delegates from all 
the various centers of the foreign-language groups, 
and their activities are far-reaching. The information 
on government activities, prepared in the form of bulle- 
tins or circular letters by the bureaus, and sent to these 
organizations, was invariably given the most effective 
distribution to members. Draft and registration circu- 
lars, regulations issued by the Passport Control Division 
of the Department of Stale, income-tax provisions, were 
carefully and thoroughly distributed by them. They also 
gave most valuable and suggestive advice as to the needs 
and desires of their groups for instruction and under- 

While there was no need to issue literature in any large 
quantity because of the facilities offered us for reaching 
foreign-language groups by their press organizations, the 
following pamphlets (in addition to the German) were 
printed as a result of a desire and need found to exist for 
them and had a distribution of about one hundred and 
twenty thousand: "America in War and Peace," in 
Ukrainian; "A Message to American-Hungarians," in 
Hungarian; "Abraham Lincoln," in Russian; "League 
of Nations," in Russian. 

All bureau managers, either when initiating the work 
or at frequent intervals during its continuance, learned 
through personal conference the situation among their 
groups and gained complete confidence from their people 
in their work. Lectures were very popular, and the 
following letter received by a representative of the Russian 
bureau will give an idea of how eager these people were 
for the truth: 

You have done very much for the Russian colony of the city 
of - . You even made our Bolsheviki think and speak about 

education. I often think now that if we had in several 

people like you, many of the Russian workmen would have been 



saved from the Utopian Bolshevism, would not believe its idle 
promises, and would learn to govern themselves independently. 
Several of our members were present at the lecture and all were 
very much pleased and grateful to you. Our group has authorized 

me to ask you to come to live in . You are a man of science, 

and we have no educated people among us. You know that the 
mind of the Russian workmen has been moved from its former 
standpoint; it wants to go somewhere, but it does not know the 
way. If you, the intelligent people, will not help it to find the 
way, other unscrupulous people will take advantage of the 

The Foreign Information Service, first directed by Mr. 
Donald Breed and after that by Mr. Barrett Clark, was 
designed to encourage the foreign-language groups of 
America by releasing stories telling of their co-operation 
with the government in such matters as the Liberty Loan, 
the Red Cross, etc., and to assist the foreign-language 
press not only in securing prompt and efficient co-operation 
with the government departments, but by informing the 
American people through the native-language press of 
the work that had been done and was now being done by 
the foreign-language press in helping the foreigner to 
become a better American. Over fifty such stories were 
released to thirty-three hundred American papers, these 
titles conveying the general idea: "The Jugoslav Club," 
" Greek- American Boys Are Genuine Patriots," "Lithua- 
nians Support Fourth Liberty Loan," "The Czechoslovaks 
in America," "Ukrainians in America Eager for Education," 
and "Russian-Americans Aid America in Bond Sales." 
Fourteen "News Bulletins," giving a number of very 
brief accounts on the activities of the foreign-born, were 
also sent out. In addition to information service through 
press organizations, all bureaus did considerable trans- 
lating of letters and articles for government departments 
and furnished them numerous reports concerning their 



Highly intensive, as well as extensive, work was done 
in co-operation with the office of the Provost-Marshal- 
General. All the bureaus released for days before regis- 
tration the fullest and clearest instructions which received 
columns of space daily in the press. Provost-Marshal- 
General Crowder wrote us the following letter in regard 
to the bureau's achievements: 

I have already expressed to Mr. Creel my appreciation of the 
invaluable work done by all members of his staff in contributing 
to publicity on Registration Day. But I have an especial senti- 
ment of gratitude to yourself, because the task of reaching the 
foreign-born, who are unfamiliar with our language, seemed to 
me to be one of the most difficult, and perhaps beyond power of 

But as I read your report of the methods employed, I am con- 
vinced that the task was fully accomplished. The daily arrivals 
of newspapers in foreign languages show how wide-spread are 
the ramifications of influence of your office, and have revealed 
to me what a powerful and effective agency the government 
possesses. Your tact, energy, and ingenuity in utilizing this agency 
to its fullest command my admiration, and I offer my personal 

Far more exhaustive was the work done in co-operation 
with the Internal Revenue Department in explaining and 
helping work out the provisions of the revenue bill affect- 
ing aliens. A most critical situation was created among 
the foreign-speaking people by the law's failure sufficiently 
to define the terms "resident" and "non-resident" aliens, 
and by its provision that employers should withhold 8 per 
cent, from the wages of then* non-resident employees, 
their total tax being 12 per cent, as against the 6 per cent, 
paid by citizens and resident aliens. The matter came to 
the attention of our bureau managers through letters and 
personal appeals from their people all over the country. 
Altogether nearly 3,000 of these appeals came in, showing 
a state of complete bewilderment and wretchedness, and 



the two following, from different language groups, will 
give some idea of the situation: 

RUSSIAN BUREAU: I, - , beg the Russian Bureau to help 
me. The Russian immigrants are not able to pay the war [prob- 
ably income] taxes. Some time ago I read in the papers that 
only those who earned more than $1,000 a year have to pay the 
tax and only on what they earned over $1,000; and I have paid 
$12.07. But now in the factory they withhold more, and tell 
that I myself must pay $145 for last year, and if I have to pay 
for this year also, I will have to pay more than $300. And so I 
have to work, but do not get money to live on. And I beg the 
Russian Bureau to answer my prayer, and to tell me what is 
going to become of the Russian immigrants. 

GENTLEMEN: I wish to send my complaint against the - 
in St. Joseph, Mo. I am a poor man, and working very hard for 
my living. I do not know who is wronging me, either United 
States government or the company. In the office they asked 
me whether I will go back to Europe; I answered yes. Then 
they told me that I have to pay the tax. I asked them what 
kind of a tax? For the year 1918. I said, all right, how much 
I have to pay? $25, they told me. I said, never mind! Then 
they withhold my one week and half wages. I thought that I 
would get the third week pay, so I could pay to the grocer and 
the storekeeper. But nevertheless they withheld the third pay. 
I was supposed to get $19.58, and they gave me only $3.80. What 
will I do; poor unfortunate man? I went to the superintendent 
and asked him for receipt. He refused. Now, whom shall I 
ask for it? I asked him whether I will get full pay for the fourth 
week? He said, no! To tell you the truth, I cried after I left the 
office. I really do not know how I can make a living. 

Please accept my request, and help me in my grievance. Is 
it the same proceeding for everybody, or only for me? Does 
America allow the companies to exploit the poor people in such 

Instead of withholding the tax on each pay-day, many 
employers took it in a lump sum, frequently amounting 
to an entire week's wages, or more. Many aliens in the 
resident class were considered non-residents because of 



their refusal to sign a "blue slip" stating intention of resi- 
dence which they believed meant they could never go back 
to Europe for a visit, and was some sort of an enforced 
citizenship paper. An additional grievance was that re- 
ceipts for wages thus withheld were rarely given. 

In attempting to alleviate the various grave injustices, 
the Internal Revenue Department in Washington showed 
most unusual sympathy and breadth of vision. Treasury 
decisions were extensively revised and any number of 
regulations drawn up with the intent of bettering matters. 
Our bureaus released from ten to twenty explanatory 
articles and gave their attention and answers to all the 
individual inquiries. 

Of equal importance with this work of reaching the 
foreign-speaking groups with information, as described, 
was what this work had revealed about these groups. 
The war gave a chance for a dramatic and striking mani- 
festation of their services and loyalty to the country. 
After the armistice their interest and devotion was just as 
great in helping in the difficult transition and reconstruction 
problems. The same unreserved spirit with which they 
had enlisted in the army, and in the Liberty Loan and War 
Savings Stamp campaigns, marked their efforts in peace, 
in encouraging all their people to become citizens, to learn 
English, to carry out any suggestions coming from govern- 
ment sources. Numerous printing concerns offered to 
print and distribute among their people books on American 
history, civics, and the Constitution. Editors of several 
groups ran serials on citizenship and wished to carry 
translations of the best American stories in their papers. 
They asked us to suggest these and to get translation 
rights for them. 

For years national unity and progress have demanded 
the release of the neglected potentialities of our millions 
of new Americans into a fuller participation in our country's 

14 19? 


life. For this there is necessary a mutual process of edu- 
cation of native and foreign born. Full information on 
American life, opportunities, customs, and laws must 
reach the men and women coming here from foreign lands 
immediately upon their arrival. Necessarily it must be 
in their own language. The more they learn in this way 
of our fundamental democracy and the possibilities for 
them and their children in this country, the keener be- 
come their desire and efforts to learn "America's lan- 
guage." To withhold this information or delay it until, 
according to theoretic calculation, these immigrants have 
had time to acquire English, is deliberately to create a 
period of cruel bewilderment and false impressions for them 
which dampens whatever enthusiasm they had originally 
to study English. The numerous un-American conditions 
and injustices to which so many immigrants have fallen 
victims must be wiped out. Explanations and instruction 
about America given to the fullest extent carry little weight 
when individuals have been unjustly wronged. 

The ignorance of many native-born Americans about 
European peoples and their contemptuous attitude toward 
persons with different customs from their own are just 
as serious obstacles to assimilation and unity as the ten- 
dency of some immigrants to cling to Old World ways; 
understanding must come, on our part, of the heritages 
of these new-comers, their suffering and struggles in Europe, 
and the contributions they bring us if we will only receive 

The devotion of the men and women associated with 
Miss Roche was such that each deserves detailed mention, 
but space permits only this grateful record of their names: 

Swedish Service First directed by Mr. Olaf P. Ze- 

thelius, and after his death in 
charge of Mr. H. Gude Grinndal 

Norwegian Service Mr. Sundby-Hansen 



Danish Service Mr. Viggo C. Eberlin 

Finnish Service Mr. Charles H. Hirsimaki 

Dutch Service Mr. James J. Van Pernis 

Polish Bureau Miss Wanda Wojcieszak 

Ukrainian Bureau Mr. Nicholas Ceglinsky 

Lithuanian Bureau Mr. Julius Kaupas 

Czechoslovak Bureau Mrs. Anna Tvrzicka 

German Bureau Mr. Julius Koettgen 

Hungarian Bureau Mr. Alfred Markus 

Italian Bureau Dr. Albert C. Bonaschi 

Russian Bureau Mr. Joseph Polonsky 

Jugoslav Bureau Mr. Peter Mladineo 



TT TILL IRWIN had one of the great ideas of the war 
V V when he suggested that the Fourth of July, 1918, 
should be "turned over" to Americans of foreign birth 
and descent for such celebrations as might most fittingly 
manifest their loyalty to the United States and their 
devotion to free institutions. It was not only the case 
that the celebration of the day in this manner, if carried 
to success, meant a new unity and a larger enthusiasm, 
but there was also the influence that it would exert upon 
the public opinion of other countries. When the Central 
Powers heard that Germans, Austrians, and Turks were 
marching in public demonstration of their repudiation of 
the autocratic governments from which they came, and 
when the neutral nations saw men and women of their 
blood declaring a great faith in the ideals of America, our 
cause was bound to know a great strengthening. Through 
our various contacts we put the idea up to the thirty-three 
foreign-language groups, and on May 21st this petition 
went to the President of the United States: 


On the Fourth of July, 1776, the founders of this Republic 
began the movement for human liberty and the rights of nations 
to govern themselves. One hundred and forty-two years later 
we find the world democracy, of which this nation was a pioneer, 
formidably assailed by the powers of reaction and autocracy. 



We represent these peoples whose sons and daughters came 
to this land later than the founders of the Republic, but drawn 
by the same ideals. The nations and races and peoples which 
we represent are taking their part, in one way or another, in 
the struggle. Some, happily, enjoying a political entity, are 
fighting openly and with arms against the enemies of progress. 
Others, unhappily, submerged, can give but a passive opposition. 
Others have been forced against their will into the armies of 
the common enemy. Finally, a few still remain outside, hard 
pressed, threatened by the mailed fist, dreading alike to be drawn 
in and to be found apart from the rest when the hour of settle- 
ment comes. But all, through infinite suffering, struggle, either 
blindly or open-eyed, toward the same end, the right of peoples 
to govern themselves as they themselves see fit, and a just and 
lasting peace. 

The higher interests of the races which we left behind have 
become identical, in this significant year, with the higher in- 
terests of the United States. We regard ourselves not only as 
members of an American commonwealth, one and indivisible, 
but of the world commonwealth, equally indivisible. United for 
the principles of that democratic world-state which is fighting 
now for its being on the battle-fields of Europe, we intend, on 
July 4, 1918, to manifest, by special celebrations, our loyalty 
to this country and to the cause for which we fight; and we 
respectfully request that you call the attention of your fellow- 
citizens to this fact, in order that they may join with us in com- 
memorating this, the anniversary not only of national freedom, 
but of universal freedom. 

From President Wilson came the sympathetic and favor- 
able reply: 


I have read with great sympathy the petition addressed to 
me by your representative bodies regarding your proposed cele- 
bration of Independence Day; and I wish to convey to you, in 
reply, my heartfelt appreciation for its expression of loyalty 
and good will. Nothing in this war has been more gratifying 
than the manner in which our foreign-born fellow-citizens, and 
the sons and daughters of the foreign-born, have risen to this 
greatest of all national emergencies. You have shown where 



you stand not only by your frequent professions of loyalty to 
the cause for which we fight, but by your eager response to calls 
to patriotic service, including the supreme sacrifice of offering 
life itself in battle for justice, freedom, and democracy. Before 
such devotion as you have shown all distinctions of race vanish; 
and we feel ourselves citizens in a Republic of free spirits. 

I, therefore, take pleasure in calling your petition, with my 
hearty commendation, to the attention of all my fellow-country- 
men, and I ask that they unite with you in making the Inde- 
pendence Day of this, the year when all the principles to which 
we stand pledged are on trial, the most significant in our national 

As July 4, 1776, was the dawn of democracy for this nation, 
let us on July 4, 1918, celebrate the birth of a new and greater 
spirit of democracy by whose influence we hope and believe, 
what the signers of the Declaration of Independence dreamed 
of for themselves and their fellow-countrymen, shall be fulfilled 
for all mankind. 

I have asked the Committee on Public Information to co- 
operate with you in any arrangements you may wish to make 
for this celebration. 


Mr. Irwin and Miss Josephine Roche threw themselves 
into the arrangements with enthusiasm, and under their 
stimulation governors and mayors issued proclamations 
similar to that of the President, and exactly thirty-three 
nationalities in the United States commenced to make 
plans that would insure their people's complete partici- 
pation. No pains were spared to make the day all they 
longed to have it. Probably never were there such gi- 
gantic preparations throughout the entire country for 
Independence Day, and certainly never was there such 
an outpouring of the nation's millions of new citizens and 
citizens-to-be as on July 4, 1918. 

Demonstrations of the thirty-three nationalities took 
place not only in all the cities and towns, but in practically 
every community where any of these people dwelt. Re- 


ports of parades, pageants, and mass-meetings, resolutions, 
declarations, and inscriptions on banners, could be enumer- 
ated for every foreign-born group and for each separate 
community, but it would be only a repetition of the story 
of their devotion. 

The pilgrimage to Mount Vernon, so beautiful a feature 
of that inspiring Fourth of July, was my idea. I claim 
the credit and cling to it with fondness because .the occasion 
stands out in the life of the Committee as one of the few 
events that swept from start to finish without attack, 
obstruction, or untoward happening. Everything in con- 
nection with the pilgrimage was dear and delightful, and 
lingers in memory as an inspiration. My first thought 
was merely to have the thirty-three foreign groups select 
representatives and send them to Washington, where the 
Committee would convey them to Mount Vernon by 
automobile to lay wreaths on the tomb of Washington and 
to make such speeches as befitted the occasion. And then 
it came to me that it was a time and place for the President 
himself not only to receive and greet the representatives 
of the foreign-born in the name of the country to which 
they were pledging their devotion, but also to make a 
new and explicit statement of America's ideals to the world. 

At first the President refused flatly, for he felt that a 
speech at the tomb of Washington on the Fourth of July 
savored of presumption. When my own arguments 
proved unavailing I brought the foreign-born into play, 
and the message that he received made continued refusal 
an impossibility. When he consented finally it was with 
the completeness and generosity that never failed to 
mark his surrenders. For instance, he telephoned me a 
few days later, I remember, and remarked that if I had 
"no objections" to urge, he and Mrs. Wilson would be 
very glad to take the thirty- three representatives down 
to Mount Vernon as then* guests on the Mayflower. I had 



no objections to urge. Albanians, Armenians, Assyrians, 
Belgians, Bulgarians, Chinese, Czechoslovaks, Costa-Ricans, 
Danes, Dutch, Ecuadorians, Finns, French, French-Cana- 
dians, Germans, Greeks, Hungarians, Italians, Japanese, 
Lithuanians, Mexicans, Norwegians, Poles, Filipinos, Rus- 
sians, Venezuelans, Rumanians, Spaniards, Jugoslavs, 
Swedes, Swiss, Syrians, and Ukrainians were in the throng 
that flocked aboard the Mayflower. 

With their Old World conceptions, built around kings 
and queens and courts, the majority of them wore silk 
hats, frock-coats, and expressions of the utmost solemnity. 
Within an hour the whole funereal aspect of the occasion 
changed to an unaffected joyousness. I have never known 
a man who had the gift of simplicity in greater degree 
than Woodrow Wilson or one with such a human note in 
the personal relation. He has dignity without effort, 
graciousness without condescension, interest without 
affectation, all expressions of a democracy that came from 
the heart, not merely from the lips. With Mrs. Wilson 
and Miss Margaret Wilson he moved from group to group, 
laughingly suggesting that they put then* high silk hats to 
one side, as interested in them as they were in him, and giv- 
ing every man and woman the feeling of being a sovereign 
citizen in a free country. 

The scene at Mount Vernon was one that etched itself 
in memory. The shining stretches of the river, the walk 
up the winding path through the summer woods, the hill- 
sides packed with people, the beat of their hands like the 
soft roar of a forest wind, the simple brick tomb of the 
Father of Our Country overhung with wistaria in all the 
glory of its purple bloom. A piano was tucked away 
behind a clump of cedars, and when John McCormack 
had somewhat recovered from his climb up the hill he 
sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," while each of 
the thirty-three representatives walked into the tomb, 



one by one, laid a wreath upon the grave, and offered a 
prayer to the "august shade of the departed." Easily, 
naturally, the group formed about the President, who 
stood on a grassy mound to the right of the vault, and Felix 
J. Stryckmans, Belgian-born, delivered the message bear- 
ing the signature of all the thirty-three representatives 
and expressing the feelings of the great masses of new 

One hundred and forty-two years ago to-day a group of men 
animated with the same spirit as that of a man who lives here, 
founded the United States of America on the theory of free 
government with the consent of the governed. That was the 
beginning of America. As the years went on, and one century 
blended with another, men and women came from even the utter- 
most ends of the earth to join them. We have called them alien; 
but they were never alien. Though they spoke not a word of 
the language of this country, though they groped only dimly 
toward its institutions, they were already Americans in soul or 
they would never have come. We are the latest manifestation 
of that American soul. 

We, who make this pilgrimage, are the offspring of thirty- 
three different nations and Americans all. We come not 
alone. Behind us are millions of our people united to-day in 
pledging themselves to the cause of this country and of the 
free nations with which she is joined. From coast to coast, in 
city, town, and hamlet our citizens will be demonstrating that 
the oath they took upon their naturalization was not an empty 
form of words. Yes, more than that. When, to-morrow, the 
casualty list brings heaviness to some homes and a firm sense 
of resolution to all, we shall read upon the roll of honor Slavifc 
names, Teutonic names, Latin names, Oriental names, to show 
that we have sealed our faith with the blood of our best youth. 
To this beloved shade we come to-day with the hopes of our 
races garnered in our hands. 

The President, in answer, delivered the address that 
stands in my mind as one of the greatest that ever came 
from his lips. With the home of Washington on the hill 



above him, with the tomb of the warrior-statesman at 
his back, and with the purpose of America expressed by 
the thirty-three nationalities before him made one by 
democracy he challenged the world with these imperish- 
able sentences: 

There can be but one issue. The settlement must be final. 
There can be no compromise. No half-way decision would be 
tolerable. No half-way decision is conceivable. These are the 
ends for which the associated peoples of the world are fighting 
and which must be conceded them before there can be peace: 

1. The destruction of every arbitrary power anywhere that 
can separately, secretly, and of its single choice disturb the peace 
of the world; or, if it cannot be presently destroyed, at the least 
its reduction to virtual impotence. 

2. The settlement of every question, whether of territory, 
of sovereignty, of economic arrangements, or of political relation- 
ship, upon the basis of the free acceptance of that settlement 
by the people immediately concerned, and not upon the basis 
of the material interest or advantage of any other nation 01 
people which may desire a different settlement for the sake oi 
its own exterior influence or mastery. 

3. The consent of all nations to be governed in their conduct 
toward each other by the same principles of honor and of respect 
for the common law of civilized society that govern the individual 
citizens of all modern states in their relations with one another; 
to the end that all promises and covenants may be sacredly 
observed, no private plots or conspiracies hatched, no selfish 
injuries wrought with impunity, and a mutual trust established 
upon the handsome foundation of a mutual respect for right. 

4. The establishment of an organization of peace which shall 
make it certain that the combined power of free nations will 
check every invasion of right and serve to make peace and jus- 
tice the more secure by affording a definite tribunal of opinion 
to which all must submit and by which every international 
readjustment that cannot be amicably agreed upon by the 
peoples directly concerned shall be sanctioned. 

These great objects can be put into a single sentence. What 
we seek is the reign of law, based upon the consent of the governed 
and sustained by the organized opinion of mankind. 



John McCormack then sang "The Star-spangled Banner" 
as it was never sung before, and down we went to the 
river again, onto the Mayflower and back to Washington. 

Great as were the meanings and hopes which the spirit 
of 1918's Fourth of July brought the foreign-born, of equal 
importance were the foundations it laid for an understand- 
ing by our "Americans for generations back" that these 
"Americans by choice" came here with the same hopes 
as did our Pilgrim ancestors, and willing, as they were, to 
make the supreme sacrifice for their nation's safe continu- 
ance, and knowing, as they did, the cost of freedom. From 
that day a new unity was manifest in the United States. 



AX credit for the Official Bulletin is due to the Presi- 
dent. It was his conviction that the government 
should issue a daily gazette for the purpose of assuring full 
and authoritative publication of all official acts and pro- 
ceedings, as well as serving as a chain of intelligence to 
link together the various branches of the war-making 
machinery of America. It was not an idea that appealed 
to me and as strongly as might be I dissented from it. The 
necessity of such a publication could not be denied, but 
I knew in my heart that it would be misrepresented, pos- 
sibly to a degree that would destroy its usefulness. When 
the President insisted, however, I secured the services of 
Mr. E. S. Rochester, formerly managing editor of The 
Washington Post, and the Official Bulletin was launched 
in May, 1917, as economically as possible. It is a 
pleasure to be able to record that the President was 
absolutely right and that I was entirely wrong. 

From its very first day, the Official Bulletin met a great 
need and discharged an important service, growing in 
popularity to a point that it became one of the great 
divisions of the Committee. As expected, the press 
attacked it viciously on the ground that it was a "govern- 
ment organ" designed to compete with private enterprise. 
The accusation was utterly without foundation in fact, 
for not one single item or article of any kind was ever 



printed in the Official Bulletin in advance of publication 
in the daily press. Nor did its columns ever contain an 
opinion or a conclusion, the contents being confined ex- 
clusively to official documents, statements, and orders. 

When this attack fell to the ground of its own weight, 
the correspondents blithely changed from abuse to ridi- 
cule. Because the Official Bulletin did not express opinions 
it was branded as "dull," and because it did not print 
"exclusive stuff" it was derided as "useless." Yet neither 
slander nor jeers had power to stop a growth that proved 
almost resistless. In order to keep the circulation within 
official bounds, we fixed a subscription price of $5 a 
year, supposing that to be prohibitive, yet in November, 
1918, we took in more than $10,000 in subscriptions, 
and on the day of suspension the books showed receipts 
of more than $80,000. Starting with a daily average 
circulation of 60,000 in May, 1917, a high-water mark 
of 118,000 was reached in August, 1918. If we had 
chosen to depart from our policy of repression at any time, 
the paid circulation could have been doubled and trebled. 

What stood proved by the experiment was this: that 
there was an imperative demand from a large number of 
people for a publication that printed news without cutting 
or coloring. The newspaper practice is to cut down the 
story until it can be screamed in the head, and even these 
bald presentations of naked conclusions are changed ac- 
cording to the policies and politics of the paper. From 
every corner of the country the Official Bulletin was hailed 
with joy as the one publication that gave official informa- 
tion in full and without change. 

There is humor in the fact that when we took the press 
at its word and cut newspapers from the free list, virtually 
every Washington correspondent sent in his five dollars 
to become a paid subscriber. Also, in the first months 
of attacks and ridicule, the metropolitan editors had a 



way of throwing the Official Bulletin into the waste-basket. 
As time went on, however, there dawned the realization 
that the Official Bulletin constituted the one full and ac- 
curate record of America's war progress, and we were 
deluged by letters begging us for complete sets or for back 
numbers to fill the gaps in files. 

In the pages of the Official Bulletin, day after day, was 
printed every state paper, proclamation, executive order, 
and all statements, pronouncements, and addresses 
by the President since the entry of this government into 
the war; every order, pronouncement, and regulation 
issued by the heads of the great permanent government 
departments, the Food, Fuel, and Railroad Administra- 
tions, the War Industries Board, War Trade Board, Alien 
Property Custodian, War Labor Board, the Postmaster- 
General as Director-General of the Telephone, Telegraph, 
and Cable Systems, and all other independent agencies 
of the government. Important contracts awarded, texts 
of important laws, proceedings of the United States Su- 
preme Court, a daily resume of important actions of Con- 
gress, Treasury statements, etc., were also printed regularly. 

The Bulletin printed all issued records to date of every 
casualty among our army and navy forces abroad and in 
the camps and cantonments in the United States; the name 
of every man taken prisoner, cited for bravery, or wounded 
on the field of battle, and every communique issued by 
General Pershing. 

It was an immediate means of government communi- 
cation with the business interests with which the govern- 
ment has been in contractual relations; with the offices 
of foreign governments here and abroad, with the consular 
service, and with the public desirous of information of a 
specific character. Its monetary value to the government 
in the clerical labor and supplies it conserved by antici- 
pating nation-wide inquiries in its daily record of the facts 



represented an amount in excess of the cost of issuing 
the Bulletin. 

It went to 56,000 post-offices throughout the country, to 
be posted, and was the voice of the Postmaster-General in 
communicating directly with 446,000 post-offices of the 
fourth class, to which the regular postal bulletin did not go. 

It carried the official messages of government to every 
military post and station, to every ship and shore station 
of the navy, to every camp library at home and abroad, 
and Admiral Sims and General Pershing alike relied upon 
it for their own use and the use of their staffs. 

No official organs were maintained by either the Food 
Administration or the Fuel Administration, by the War 
Trade Board, the War Industries Board, or the Council 
of National Defense, and these bodies reached their thou- 
sands of administrators and co-operative absentees through 
the instrumentality of the Official Bulletin. 

When the government assumed control of the railroads 
of the country, the Director-General of Railroads had no 
other official medium than the Official Bulletin through 
which to reach the 2,000,000 employees of the great 
railroad systems. Copies of all orders, of course, were 
sent to the central railroad offices, but, as in the case of 
the Food and Fuel Administrations, there was no perma- 
nent printed record of such orders, except as they appeared 
in the Official Bulletin', and in all railroad offices of the 
country this publication was preserved religiously so that 
it might be referred to whenever matters of importance 

Even while Congress was attacking the Official Bulletin 
as useless expense, Senators and Representatives were 
hounding the Committee to have constituents placed on 
the free list, and when publication was suspended on April 
1, 1919, there was not a voice raised except to beseech 

its continuance. 




EVEN had I not been an ardent suffragist, we could 
not have ignored the importance of women in con- 
nection with the war or failed to see the necessity of reach- 
ing them with our activities. There was a Woman's 
Committee of the Council of National Defense, however, 
headed by such brilliant personalities as Dr. Anna Howard 
Shaw, Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, and Miss Ida Tarbell, 
and it seemed a certainty that it would meet every need. 
What soon developed, unfortunately, was that the Woman's 
Committee had no money and was also expected to confine 
itself to "advising," the business of initiation having been 
placed in other hands. 

By way of assistance, and at the request of Miss Tarbell, 
I attached Mrs. Clara Sears Taylor to the News Division 
and assigned her to the Woman's Committee as its general 
reporter. Lack of money and lack of authority joined 
to slacken effort very materially, and because an important 
work that had to be done was not being done I fell in with 
Mrs. Taylor's suggestion to form a Division of Women's 
War-work in the Committee on Public Information. 
Not only was Mrs. Taylor a person of tremendous energy 
and rare ability, but she had the gift of attracting women 
of similar type, and it was not long until a staff of twenty- 
two, many of them volunteers, were in full and effective 




What women were doing to help win the war was the 
one theme, and not only did they fill the women's pages 
in the daily press, as well as earning large space in maga- 
zine sections, but they fought their way to a place in the 
sun in the news columns. They went into the colleges 
where girls studied, into clubs of every kind, into ghettoes 
and foreign colonies, among the colored women of the coun- 
try, giving information and arousing enthusiasm. Added 
to this, the division was a "question and answer" bureau 
that handled thousands of letters daily from women in 
every corner of the United States. 

During the nine months of its existence, 2,305 stories 
were sent to 19,471 newspapers and women's publications. 
These releases included a wire and mail service, and were 
made up of news stories and feature articles. They were 
sent daily to 2,861 papers in seven columns a week, 
containing from twelve to twenty stories each. More 
than 10,000 cards were indexed on women's work, includ- 
ing the personnel of both organizations and individuals, 
and a collation of material of immense value to magazine 
and newspaper writers. Two hundred and ninety-two 
pictures were furnished newspapers, showing women 
actively engaged in war-work. 

Weekly columns sent to newspapers and magazines 
included, first, war-work being done in national organiza- 
tions; second, in governmental departments; third, in 
decentralized organizations throughout the United States; 
fourth, in schools and colleges; fifth, in churches; sixth, 
foreign co-operation; seventh, work being done by organi- 
zations of colored women. 

Close co-operation was formed with the colleges, through 
representatives sent out by the collegiate alumni, and with 
fraternal organizations through representatives co-operat- 
ing with the governmental departments through their 
international associations. The news for the foreign col- 

15 213 


umn was received by means of co-operation with the 
foreign embassies, legations, high commissions, and com- 
mittees, and committees in foreign countries at war 
with Germany. 

Mrs. Mary Holland Kinkaid, well-known magazine and 
newspaper editor and writer of New York, edited the col- 
umns of news which created an interchange in thought 
between the women war- workers of the world, culling from 
letters and other forms of communication the facts, figures, 
hopes, and ambitions that were woven into "stories." 
She handled also the copy brought in by trained reporters 
who had the governmental departments and national 
organizations in Washington for their "beats." 

These reporters included women from many states and 
representing as many points of view. The War Depart- 
ment, with its thousands of women war-workers, was 
"covered" by Mrs. William A. Mundell (pen name 
Caroline Singer), a newspaper writer of San Francisco. 
News of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National 
Defense, which operated under the War Department, was 
collected by means of their own machinery, and prepared 
by them, and then distributed by the Committee on Public 

The State and Navy Departments' picturesque tales 
of the yeomanettes, women finger-print experts, etc., were 
gathered and written into magazine and newspaper 
stories by Miss Margaret Moses, who came to the division 
with recommendations from The New York Times, Colum- 
bia University, and Barnard College. 

Miss Mildred Morris, of Denver and Chicago newspaper 
experience, invaded the Department of Labor, and from 
its statistical shelves and important war investigations 
and reports made available for the press much extremely 
valuable information. The labor-supply, depleted by the 
cutting off of immigration and by the military draft, 



necessitated calling into industrial services many women 
who had never before been wage-earners. The distribu- 
tion of this information was extremely helpful in aiding 
to solve the problems which automatically arose from the 
advent of these women into industrial life. A clever 
feature- writer of Washington, Miss Helen Randall, assisted 
in this labor field, writing stories from the Agricultural 

Miss Dorothy Lewis Kitchen of Kansas City, Mo., a 
young woman who had been active in settlement and civic 
work and in the Consumers' League, had charge of the 
Interior Department, writing articles about teachers, 
librarians, and the many phases of work done in the Depart- 
ment of the Interior. Miss Kitchen compiled two bro- 
chures on "War-work of Women in Colleges." The issu- 
ance of these brochures was commenced in February, 
1917, when the smaller colleges were more or less at sea 
as to the nature of the war-work best suited for them, and 
when the larger colleges were just establishing definite 
programs for more intensive work. The brochures were 
sent to colleges, schools, newspapers, magazines, women's 
organizations, and government officials. The effect was 
amazing. Every college in the country took advantage 
of the suggestive reports of every other college, and a 
vast amount of patriotic energy was utilized in a most 
effective manner. The news of this activity was immensely 
stimulating to other war-workers. An edition of twenty- 
five thousand copies was exhausted in a very short time, 
and thousands more were sent in response to requests 
from libraries, college officials, and individuals. 

There was an appendix to this pamphlet called "Oppor- 
tunities in War- work for Women," which was used so 
widely that it was later revised, and was just ready for 
the printer when the work of the division ceased. It 
contained a list of the chairmen of the Woman's Committee 



in each state, a list of civil service commissions, of farm- 
help specialists under the Department of Agriculture, and 
of the fourteen Red Cross divisions, besides definite 
ideas for war-work for trained and untrained college girls, 
for educated and uneducated in fact, for every class of 

The Department of Agriculture, with all the war bodies 
associated with it, and with the women's organizations 
which functioned through it, was combed each day for 
news of women's war-work by Miss Constance Marguerite 
McGowan, now Mrs. C. B. Savage of New York. Mrs. 
Savage came from the Lindenwood College, where she 
was dean of journalism. 

The Treasury, with its great Liberty-loan work by 
women, the Post Office, and the Department of Justice 
were reported by Mrs. Susan Hunter Walker, an able 
writer of wide experience. 

Mrs. Florence Normile of the New York Public Library 
was given the Department of Commerce, the Fosdick 
Commission, and the Young Women's Christian Associ- 

This information, having been collected and written, 
was mimeographed, and "placed on the table" for distri- 
bution among the nine hundred and odd correspondents 
then in Washington. This number, of course, included 
the correspondents of the big press associations, so that 
every paper in the United States was reached. When 
the matter was not "spot" news that is, when it was not 
of sufficient news importance to be carried by telegraph 
the material was worked up into feature and special 
stories for news syndicates, or else was sent out in clip 
sheets. Many of the papers carried these columns in 
full, showing the interest felt all over the country in what 
was being done by women. 

With respect to church news, Miss Elizabeth Gorton, 



now Mrs. H. A. Adams, Jr., assembled this material into 
columns that gave information about organizations of 
every creed. 

The highly dramatic story of the colored women's work 
was sent in from the four corners of the United States by 
their organizations, committees, and branches of national 
clubs. The Federation of Colored Women's Clubs found 
this information useful and effective, and the press of both 
races used the articles. 

As the work expanded, inquiries poured in from public 
officials, special writers, speakers, magazine editors, school- 
teachers, college professors, grange officials, trade-unionists, 
and every class of woman from the most influential execu- 
tive of an international activity to the humblest farm- 

The various departments in Washington and many 
Senators and Congressmen also got in the habit of sending 
women's letters to the Division of Women's War-work 
for answer. Thus the division, besides being a centralized 
medium of communication between writers, publicity bu- 
reaus, organization heads, and the government, soon be- 
came an important factor in the strengthening of the 
morale of women in America. 

Miss Ellen Harvey, and later Mrs. Laura Miller of St. 
Louis, handled the bulk of this work, although Mrs. 
Taylor considered it of such great importance in sustain- 
ing the high morale of the work of the home that she gave 
it her personal attention, and insisted on the warm co- 
operation of every member of the staff in finding definite, 
accurate answers to the many questions asked. 

These letters were the expressions of the very heart 
of American womanhood. The wording of an answer 
had power to determine whether or not a discontented 
and unhappy writer should form a center of agitation 
against the war. Some of these letters were addressed 



to the President, and many to the Secretary of War. 
The method employed was to answer the queries, and then 
to get the writer in touch with the group of women doing 
war-work in the vicinity of her home. In case of want, 
home-service workers were interested in the case. Often 
glowing expressions of patriotism followed a fiery protest 
against "sending my husband to war," or letters showing 
a new interest in life followed a suicide threat "because 
you took my only son." Always, the idea was to interest 
these unhappy women in something real and vital. 

Miss Helen M. Hogue of California, who was one of 
the assistants in this work, wrote from France, where she 
was doing war- work after leaving the committee: "The 
Division of Women's War-work has aroused patriotism, 
inspired courage, fostered self-sacrifice, and directed the 
surplus energies of women into sane channels. With a 
background of news releases, the correspondence was of 
inestimable importance. I sincerely believe that every 
letter, whether it goes to the dean of the college, who 
wants an outline for a thesis, or to the little war widow 
in Texas, struggling with her big plow and refractory 
mule, is a distinctly constructive factor in keeping up the 
morale of women, and through them of the men of 

A report shows that over fifty thousand of these letters 
were answered. They went to wealthy women, who wanted 
to know how they or their organizations could be of ser- 
vice in spreading the truth about the war, to young women 
who wanted to offer their lives for their country as their 
brothers had, to mothers of soldiers on New England 
farms, or in mountain valleys cut off from all other govern- 
ment contact, and from wives or sweethearts of soldiers 
bewildered by the new conditions thrust upon them by 
the war. 

To answer the queries successfully necessitated a careful 



filing and cross-indexing of the material. "Make the 
files live and breathe" was the slogan of the librarian, 
Miss Helen Forbes, who left the New York Public Library 
to take charge of this work. So well did she carry out 
her program that she could give the names and addresses 
in Washington of every new-comer in national war-work 
of any prominence. She had at the ends of her capable 
fingers the cards that gave the history of virtually every 
woman war-worker of importance in America, every 
organization and its war plans, every new campaign among 
the women. A granddaughter of Abraham Lincoln, by 
the way, sent news of women's work in Cuba to these files. 

Pictures were catalogued also, and the files C9ntained 
a wonderful historical collection of actual scenes among 
the war-workers the flying squadron pitching hay, the 
motor-drivers in action, Chinese women of San Francisco 
and Indian women of Oklahoma working around their 
tables, heaped up with Red Cross bandages and baby 
clothes women working at strange trades and in strange 
occupations logging-camps, machine-shops, etc. These 
pictures were accessible at all times to the magazine 
writers and to other seekers of information. 

Miss Forbes also classified and made digests with in- 
dices of government documents pertaining to the war- work 
of women, reports of organizations, which were coming 
in from every part of the United States, circulars and other 
important mail matter, and newspaper clippings, making 
it possible to gather together everything in the files on 
a given subject. Miss Sue Schoolfield; Miss Eleanor 
Clark, who had been affiliated with the Public Education 
and Child Labor Association of Pittsburgh; Miss Antonio 
Thornton Jenkins Converse, daughter of Admiral Alex- 
ander Jenkins of the United States navy, and a writer 
of ability; Miss Catherine Connell; Miss Marguerite 
Jenison; Miss Cathrene H. Peebles, and Miss Gertrude R. 



Wheeler assisted Miss Forbes in the heavy task of collat- 
ing the mass of material and making it available for instant 

No small part of the work of the division was the mail- 
ing and management of supplies. Miss Loretta Dowling 
took charge before the dissolution of the division, when the 
work became so strenuous that Miss Anna Maria Perrott 
Rose, a graduate of Vassar, joined the staff. Miss Rose, 
a student of printing and publishing, had taught typog- 
raphy in the night-school of the Pulitzer School of Journal- 
ism, had been head of the proof department in a large 
New York printing and publishing company, had done 
writing and dummying, and had worked in all of the 
mechanical departments of the plant to learn the machinery. 
Miss Rose was planning a series of brochures to follow the 
successful college booklet when the machinery stopped. 

The work of the last month was concentrated largely 
upon the writing of the history of women in war- work. 
Mrs. Helen S. Wright of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, daugh- 
ter of Rear-Admiral David Smith, of the United States 
navy, trained for twenty years in the science of compiling 
and assembling literary material, placed herself at the dis- 
posal of the woman's division. This author of The Great 
White North, The Valley of Lebanon, and The Seventh Con- 
tinent worked early and late in the assembling of the events 
that told the vivid and dramatic history of American 
women in the war. 

All this ended suddenly and even tragically. In June, 
1918, 1 went before Congress for my appropriation. When 
it came to the Division of Women's War- work, Congress 
refused funds on the ground that we were trespassing upon 
a field "already occupied by the Woman's Committee of 
the Council of National Defense." Plain proof that this 
was not the case failed to secure a reversal of the decision, 

and Mrs. Taylor and her heartbroken associates were 



compelled to quit a great work that was just coming to 
the peak of its importance. 

Strangely enough, the very dailies that were most 
derisive of the Committee printed columns and even 
pages in denunciation of the "arbitrary action" that ended 
an "invaluable agency," all taking care, however, to 
make it stand out as my personal fault. 



THE Service Bureau was another of the many activi- 
ties that were forced upon the Committee by proved 
necessities and a general demand. During the first six 
months of war the one great cry that rang through Wash- 
ington was, "For Heaven's sake, don't send me to some- 
body else." It came from civilians eager to offer their 
services, business men with propositions to make, and even 
from officials themselves, all worn out with tramping 
from place to place, in every office receiving the answer, 
"I'm not the man. You'd better see- 
It is to be remembered that America's war machine 
came into being almost overnight, and not only was there 
a tremendous expansion in every department, but new 
boards and commissions were created daily. Housing 
was a bitter problem, and lack of quarters compelled a 
scattering that made it difficult for even executive heads 
to keep track of their bureaus. As a matter of course, 
there were delay and confusion in the transaction of the 
public business as a result of this lack of knowledge of the 
organization of the executive departments, of the distri- 
bution of the duties of each among its bureaus and divisions, 
of the personnel in charge, of the location of the many 
offices in which they were established, and of ready means 
of intercommunication. 

To meet the situation, information bureaus were in- 



stalled by the permanent departments like War and Navy, 
and elaborate organizations were also being planned by 
Food, Fuel, War Industry, War Trade, and other similar 
bodies. This was not a solution, however, and at a joint 
meeting it was decided that the Committee should estab- 
lish one central service bureau to act for the entire war- 
machine. As a result of the decision the President issued 
the following executive order under date of March 19,1918: 

I hereby create under the direction of the Committee on 
Public Information, created by Executive order of April 14, 1917, 
a Service Bureau, for the purpose of establishing a central office 
in the city of Washington, where complete information records 
may be available as to the function, location, and personnel 
of all government agencies. 

I hereby ask the several departments of government, when 
so requested by the chairman of the Committee on Public Infor- 
mation, to detail such person or persons as may be necessary in 
gathering the information needed and carrying on the work 
of the bureau so far as it relates to such departments; to give 
opportunity to the director of the bureau, or such person as he 
may designate, to secure information from time to time for the 
purpose of keeping the records up to date; to supply the director 
of the bureau, on form cards furnished by him, with information 
as to personnel, function, and location. 


Prof. Frederick W. McReynolds was borrowed from 
Dartmouth College and quarters were taken in the very 
heart of Washington's business district. Every fact 
relating to the business of government in each of its several 
departments was gathered and indexed so that the Ser- 
vice Bureau stood ready to give instant and accurate 
information as to officials, councils, commissions, functions. 
Every detail of the war-machinery was at hand for inquiry 
and answer. When it is borne in mind that each day 
saw new bodies brought into being, and that the daily 
changes of personnel in established departments sometimes 



ran as high as five hundred, the magnitude of the task 
can be appreciated. 

During the six months of its existence the Service 
Bureau answered over eighty-six thousand inquiries, made 
in person, by telephone, and by letter, and from the day 
of its creation there was a lessening of irritation and con- 
fusion. Hundreds of people took the trouble to return 
to compliment the bureau upon its efficiency, and even 
members of Congress were compelled to admit the value of 
the bureau. No one will ever be able to estimate the money 
saved by lifting the Bureau of Inquiries and Answers 
from the hard-driven departments of the government. 

Professor McReynolds, after carrying the work to success, 
resigned to become a special agent of the Bureau of Internal 
Revenue, and Martin A. Morrison, who succeeded him, 
was subsequently appointed a Civil Service Commissioner 
by the President. Miss Marie Shick, office manager 
from the beginning, was then promoted to be director and 
at the time of the work's discontinuance was receiving 
offers from various other departments of government, 
which, while constituting an interference with the work, 
nevertheless stood as proof of the competent manner in 
which the bureau was administered. 

A special word of commendation is due to Mr. F. E. 
Hackett and Mr. Arthur Klein, who made the initial sur- 
vey of all the departments, and to Miss Emily A. Spilman, 
assistant librarian of the Department of Justice, who 
supervised the compiling of the directory. 

Through the Division of Syndicate Features we enlisted 
the services of the leading novelists, essayists, and short- 
story writers of the United States, a picked group of men 
and women constituting a virtual staff that worked faith- 
fully week after week in the preparation of brilliant articles 
that were sent by mail to the press of the country for 
release on given dates. Among those who gave so freely 



of their time and abilities were Samuel Hopkins Adams, 
Ellis Parker Butler, Booth Tarkington, Meredith Nichol- 
son, Harvey O'Higgins, Herbert Quick, John Spargo, 
William English Walling, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Wallace 
Irwin, Richard Washburn Child, Samuel Merwin, Roland 
G. Usher, Ralph D. Paine, Martha Bensey Bruere, Edward 
Mott Wooley, John Reed Scott, Prof. John Erskine, Prof. 
Eugene Davenport, Crittenden Marriott, James H. Collins, 
Rex Beach, Virginia Frazer Boyle, and many others. 

At first a good many personal pronouncements were 
used to make clear why we were at war, to explain the ideals 
for which we were fighting. Opinions of prominent people 
were in demand, though stories of our war activities were 
also used. But the character of the matter sent out 
changed as the war progressed. Our object was, in the 
newspaper phrase, to "sell the war," and we tried to 
furnish, dressed in acceptable newspaper style, the story 
of the war-machine in its thousands of phases, the story 
of our boys over there and over here, and the spirit that 
was back of the whole great adventure. 

Mary Roberts Rinehart contributed timely articles 
based upon her own observations while visiting the vari- 
ous battle-fronts, and her story of an interview with the 
King of Belgium was a free feature that the papers adver- 
tised for days in advance. Samuel Hopkins Adams came 
to Washington at his own expense, and as a result of his 
skilful analysis of the papers taken from Von Igel by the 
Department of Justice, a page story went out that showed 
German intrigue down to the last sordid detail. James 
H. Collins wrote a wonderful series that made clear the 
work of new and little-understood departments; Herbert 
Quick fought regularly for the conquest of the agricultural 
mind; Ellis Parker Butler gave us a brilliant series which 
we syndicated in one hundred papers, and Harvey J. 
O'Higgins was such a success in answering the "German 



whisper" that we drafted him outright, and brought him to 
Washington to serve as associate chairman. The division did 
not confine itself wholly to fact stories and human interest 
stuff about army and navy workers. It dealt also with the 
larger aspects that were behind the immediate facts. It 
covered the racial, the social, the moral, and the financial 
aspects of the war written by specialists in these lines. 

L. Ames Brown, transferred from the News Division for 
the purpose of inaugurating the plan of syndicate feat- 
ures, handled it brilliantly and well until he entered the 
army, and then, under the direction of William MacLeod 
Raine and Arthur MacFarlane, the stories were used from 
Florida to Alaska, from New York to California, reaching 
a circulation of about twelve million a month. 

Then there was the Bureau of Cartoons to mobilize and 
direct the scattered cartoon power of the country for con- 
structive war-work. I was never very enthusiastic over 
the idea and gave it a very grudging assent as well as a 
meager appropriation. But under Mr. George J. Hecht, 
capably assisted by Mr. Alfred M. Saperston and Miss 
Gretchen Leicht, a remarkable success was won. The 
principal activity of the bureau was the weekly publica- 
tion of the Bulletin for Cartoonists. Every week the 
bureau obtained from all the chief departments of the 
government the announcements which they particularly 
wanted to transmit to the public, wrote them up in the 
bulletin, and sent them out to over seven hundred and fifty 
cartoonists. As general suggestions and advance-news 
"tips" were published rather than specific subjects for 
cartoons, there was no danger of cartoonists losing their 
individuality or originality. Cartoonists all over the nation 
followed out these suggestions. This made for timeliness 
and unity of cartoon power which developed into a stimu- 
lating and actively constructive force for shaping public 
opinion and winning the war. 




IN many respects, one of the most effective ideas of the 
Committee on Public Information was the bringing 
to the United States, from time to time, of delegations 
of foreign newspaper men in order that they might "see 
with their own eyes, hear with their own ears," and upon 
their return be able to report fully on America's morale 
and effort. These trips were of incalculable value in our 
foreign educational work, for not only did the visitors 
send home daily reports by cable and by mail, but upon 
their return wrote series of articles and even went upon 
the lecture platform. Most important, everything was 
written on the basis of what had been seen by the eyes of 
the foreigners, with the individual correspondent's own 
interpretation of the facts in the manner that would most 
appeal to his own reading public. 

Mexico was selected for the initial experiment in national 
entertaining, and Mr. Robert H. Murray, our resident 
commissioner, assembled the following representative 
group of Mexican editors: 

From the City of Mexico, Senor Felix Palavacini of El 
Universal, Senor Manuel Carpio of La Voz, Senor Zamora 
Plowes of A. B. C., Senor Manero of El Economista, and 
Senor Alducin of El Excelsior, and from other principal 
cities the correspondents of these papers: El Dictdmen, 
Vera Cruz; La Prensa, Pueblo; El Informador, Saltillo; El 



Liberal, Saltillo; ElProgreso, El Liberal, and Nueva Patria, 
all of Monterey, La Prensa, and Tampico. 

Lieut. P. S. O'Reilly, borrowed from the Cable Censor- 
ship by reason of a long association with Spanish-speaking 
peoples, took the party in charge for the Committee, and 
a tour was arranged that covered the United States. 

Their itinerary included the following cities and points of 
interest: New Orleans, Louisiana; Atlanta, Georgia; Wash- 
ington, D. C., where the delegation w r as received and ad- 
dressed by President Wilson and where the Pan-American 
Bureau entertained it and the Mexicans were afforded an op- 
portunity of seeing many governmental works; Annapolis, 
for inspection of the United States Naval Academy; Camp 
Meade, for inspection of a typical United States canton- 
ment; Philadelphia, for a view of the Hog Island Ship- 
building Yard; South Bethlehem, for inspection of the 
Bethlehem Steel Works; New York City, for inspection 
of the United States Military Academy at West Point 
and numerous war factories in and around New York; 
Boston, for inspection of shipbuilding plants; Schenectady, 
for inspection of the plant of the General Electric Co.; 
Buffalo, for inspection of the Curtiss Aviation Co. ; Detroit, 
for view of various plants making Liberty motors and 
'planes; Chicago, for view of various steel-plants, packing- 
houses, etc.; St. Paul and Minneapolis, for study of the 
milling centers; Yakima, Washington, for a view of a United 
States reclamation project; Seattle, for study of west- 
coast shipbuilding; Portland, for study of west-coast ship- 
building, and San Francisco for the same purpose; Los 
Angeles, and back to Mexico via San Antonio and Laredo. 

The Mexicans came in distrust and suspicion, also in 
a vast and amazing ignorance of the extent and might of 
the United States. While Mr. Murray was working very 
effectively with the Committee's daily cable and mail 
service, literature, etc., it was still the case that the pro- 



German press of Mexico had Republican attacks in the 
Senate to serve as a sort of answer, and the visiting editors 
were in doubt as to the exact facts. It was amusing to 
witness their surprise when they saw our cantonments, 
our ships, our aviation-fields, and great munition-plants. 

"Why," exclaimed one of them, "we had been led to 
believe by your Senators that you did not have a ship or 
an airplane." 

At every point we treated them with absolute frankness, 
showing everything, concealing nothing, and in the end 
they were enthusiastic believers not only in our power, 
but in our idealism. 

Chambers of commerce, boards of trade, various other 
civic and business organizations and business firms and 
individuals throughout the country aided splendidly in 
making the Mexicans feel at home and im impressing them 
with the good will and friendship which the people of the 
United States felt for the people south of the Rio Grande. 
Many business firms and individuals entertained them 
and contributed not a little to making them, on their return 
to their native country, enthusiastic "boosters" for the 
United States. What won them absolutely, however, was 
the speech of the President, made to them simply and 
straightforwardly as they grouped about him in the White 
House, clear and ringing in its exposition of our ideals, 
aims, and purposes. This speech, more than any other 
one thing, killed the German lie in Latin America, for we 
gave it complete circulation in South and Central America 
as well as in Mexico. 

The Swiss came next, and getting them to come was 
remarkable proof of the strength that Mrs. Whitehouse 
had acquired in Switzerland. The government itself had 
to approve the visit, also the personnel, and there were 
delicate questions of neutrality involved, as well as personal 
prejudices on the part of pro-German editors. The six 
16 **9 


men in the party were statesmen as well as journalists, 
and I have never seen a group that had fairer or more open 
minds. They saw and listened calmly and critically, and 
because of this judicial silence there were times when we 
felt that the trip was not a success. Mr. Norman de R. 
Whitehouse, however, who was conducting the party, 
having deserted his own affairs to render the service, 
assured us that all was going well, and his word came true. 
A night or two before they sailed the Swiss colony of New 
York gave a dinner in honor of the distinguished visitors, 
and not one of the six but made a speech that was ungrudg- 
ing in its praise of America and its belief in our ideals. 

The Italian journalist came next and Captain Merriman, 
in Rome, selected the following representative members 
of the Italian press: Aldo Cassuto of Secolo, Antonio 
Agresti of Tribuna, Paolo Cappa of Awenire d'ltalia, 
Orazio Pedrazzi of Nuovo Giornale, Franco Rainieri of 
Giornale d'ltalia, Pietro Solari of Tempo, Leonardo Bitetti 
of Idea Nazionale. 

The fourth group to arrive came from the Scandinavian 
countries and included representatives of the principal 
papers in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. Not only did 
we show them America at war, but we made it a point to 
see that they came into contact with all those communities 
in which there were large Scandinavian populations. Mr. 
Bjorkman handled the tour with rare judgment and carried 
it through to complete success. The armistice termi- 
nated our plans in this direction, and necessitated the can- 
celation of the invitations that had already been extended 
to the newspaper men of Holland and Spain. The itiner- 
aries arranged by the Italians, the Swiss, and the Scandi- 
navians followed the same general plan as the one pre- 
pared for the Mexican editors. 

There can be no question as to the signal success of 
these visits, for the effect of them was signal and lasting. 



The very fact that we were willing to let our war progress 
be seen and judged was impressive at the outset, and the 
magnitude of "America's Answer" did the rest. Count- 
less columns in foreign newspapers were earned for us 
that could have been gained in no other way, and every 
column carried weight because it came from the pen of a 
writer in whom the readers had confidence. 

Equally good results were obtained from similar visits 
to the American firing-line in France. The newspaper 
men of Spain, of Holland, of England, and of the Scandi- 
navian countries were selected by the resident commission- 
ers and on arrival in France were received by the Paris 
office and shown every detail of the American effort from 
landing-port to front-line trench. Every man of them 
carried back to his country the message, "America cannot 

The tours of the foreign editors having proved so won- 
derfully successful, it was decided that a like plan should 
be pursued with reference to the foreign correspondents 
on duty in the United States. Mr. Walter S. Rogers of 
the Foreign Cable Service took the matter up with them, 
and an association was formed that included these members : 
R. Bonnifield, Central News, London; P. P. Brown and E. 
W. Kelly, Paris Herald; W. F. Bullock, Henry N. Hall, 
and J. Andrew White, London Times; P. S. Bullen and 
S. J. Clarke, London Daily Telegraph; H. Delmas and 
Henri Collin Delavaud, Agence Havas, France; W. W. 
Davies, La Nacion of Buenos Aires; Frank Dilnot and J. 
W. Harding, London Daily Chronicle; Dr. F. Ferrera, 
Corner e della Sera, Rome; Sir John Foster Fraser, Scotch 
newspapers; Andrea Ferretti, L'Idea Nazionale, Rome; 
Leopold Grahame, El Heraldo, Cuba; Y. Hatada, Asahi, 
Japan; Frank Hillier, London Daily Mail; E. W. M. Hall, 
Daily Sketch, London; W. J. Herman, Westminster Gazette, 
London; Marcel Knecht, Maison de la Presse, Paris; 



S. Lauzanne, A. Plottier, and Leon Levy, Le Matin, Paris; 
S. Levy Lawson and Wilmer Stuart, Reuters, Ltd., London; 
Capt. S. Loewy, L 9 Information, Paris; A. Maurice Low, 
Morning Post, London; Warren Mason, London Daily Ex- 
press; Norman MacCallum, Canadian Press Association; 
Ernest Montenegro, El Mercurio, Chile; E. Rascovar, 
Central News, London; Romeo Ronconi, La Prensa, 
Buenos Aires; A. Rothman, Australian Press Association; 
Severo Salcedo, La Nacion, Santiago, Chile; Van Buren 
Thome, Mainichi, Osaka, Japan; T. Walter Williams, 
Daily Mirror, London; P. W. Wilson, London Daily News. 

Our first effort was to answer the German lie that 
America's shipbuilding was a "bluff." Permission for 
the unprecedented step of showing the secret processes 
of certain American shipbuilding yards was finally obtained 
from the government departments concerned, and the 
correspondents were taken on a tour which embraced the 
yards of the New York Shipbuilding Co., at Camden, N. J.; 
the American International plant at Hog Island, Pa.; 
the Squantum and Quincy plants of the Fore River Ship- 
building Co., outside of Boston, Mass.; the Brooklyn 
Navy Yard; and the Newark plant of the Submarine Boat 
Corporation. Each correspondent who made the trip 
was under no coercion as to the character of the matter 
he was to write, and the only pledges asked were with 
respect to certain secrets of construction. 

Judging from the publicity to the American shipbuilding 
program which resulted, the trip was an immense success. 
All of the foreign correspondents were more than anxious to 
present America's viewpoint and more than enthusiastic 
over America's accomplishments. Matter written by these 
correspondents was published all over England, France, 
Italy, and South America, and reproduced in countries 
still more distant. 

Necessary permission having been secured, the foreign 



correspondents were next sent on a tour of the Middle West 
to study aviation progress. At Detroit the plant of the 
Packard Motor Co. engaged in making Liberty motors 
was thoroughly inspected, the first time that such a 
permission had been granted. The army authorities, 
thoroughly awake to the propaganda value of the plan, 
relaxed their stern rule against civilians and granted the 
correspondents fullest freedom at the special testing-field 
outside of Detroit. The plant of Henry Ford, making 
cylinders for the Liberty motors, was inspected. 

The correspondents then traveled to Chicago. They 
were greatly interested in the Great Lakes Naval Training 
Station, were made to realize something of the gigantic 
responsibilities which the United States had shouldered 
in its self-assumed task of feeding the world by a detailed 
view of the Union Stock Yards and the great packing-plants 
of Chicago. One day was also spent in investigating the 
making of munitions at the plant of the International 
Harvester Co. Another day was spent visiting the great 
war plant of the Rock Island Arsenal. 

The third trip undertaken was in response to earnest 
pleas from the correspondents that they be permitted to 
visit briefly with President Wilson himself. The President 
consented to receive the correspondents at the White 
House, and in a remarkable interview laid bare his own 
thought as well as his conception of the ideals of America. 
The correspondents were then taken to Old Point Comfort, 
where they saw the plant of the Newport News Shipbuild- 
ing Co., inspected the heavy-artillery school at Fortress 
Monroe, saw the training of naval aviators at Langley 
Field, Hampton Roads, and the vast embarkation works 
in and around that harbor. 

The fourth trip was a corollary to the Detroit-Chicago- 
Rock Island inspection. It was designed to show the corre- 
spondents certain American aviation-plants in operation. 



The correspondents were taken to Dayton, where they went 
over the plant of the Dayton-Wright Co., and as many as 
desired were afforded the opportunity of going aloft in 
a Liberty 'plane. The same inspection and the same 
opportunity were afforded them at Buffalo, where they 
went through the great plant of the Curtiss Co. 

It was not only the case that each trip resulted in long 
cable stories and special articles sent by mail. From the 
very first tour a new note was apparent in the despatches 
a note of enthusiasm, of courage, of victory. From what 
they had seen themselves they were able to discount the 
attacks of partizans, and "calamity howls" ceased to go 
out on the cables to alarm the Allies and frighten the 

It should be added that Mr. Perry Arnold, who conducted 
the correspondents on each trip, also prepared numerous 
articles covering what had been seen, which were exten- 
sively circulated in Europe and South America. 

Part II 


THE domestic task was simple compared with the under- 
taking that faced the Committee on Public Informa- 
tion when it turned from the United States to make the 
fight for world opinion. It was not only that the people 
of the Allied Powers had to be strengthened with a mes- 
sage of encouragement, but there was the moral verdict 
of the neutral nations to be won and the stubborn prob- 
lem of reaching the deluded soldiers and civilians of the 
Central Powers with the truths of the war. A prime 
importance was to preach the determination and military 
might of America and the certainty of victory, but it was 
equally necessary to teach the motives, purposes, and ideals 
of America so that friend, foe, and neutral alike might 
come to see us as a people without selfishness and in love 
with justice. 

It was a task that looked almost hopeless. The United 
States, alone of the great nations of the world, had never 
conducted a propaganda movement. For years preceding 
the war Germany had been secretly building a vast pub- 
licity machine in every corner of the earth, designed to 
overwhelm all foreign peoples with pictures of Germany's 
vast power, her overwhelming pre-eminence in industry, 
commerce, and the arts. German agents, carefully selected 
from among her journalists and authors, neglected no 
opportunities for presenting Germany's case to readers 



of every language, and her commercial firms linked a 
propaganda of liberal credits with this newspaper campaign 
throughout the world. 

Great Britain, through Reuters, likewise conducted a 
governmental propaganda. France had official connection 
with the Havas Agency. Both England and France, 
through ownership or liberal subsidy of certain great 
cable arteries, had long been able to direct currents of 
public opinion in channels favorable to themselves. Other 
nations had publicity machines of varying types. 

America controlled no cables, manipulated no press 
associations, operated no propaganda machinery of any 
kind. We were, and always had been, dependent upon 
foreign press agencies for intercourse with the world. 
The volume of information that went from our shores was 
comparatively small, and after it had been filtered in 
London, or Paris, it grew smaller and smaller until it 
amounted to mere "flashes" when it reached a far country. 
Strangely enough, we were at once the best-known and the 
least-known people in the world. There was no corner 
of the globe in which America was not a familiar word, 
but as to our aims, our ideals, our social and industrial 
progress, our struggles and our achievements, there were 
the most absolute and disheartening misunderstandings 
and misconceptions. For instance, when the "gun-men" 
were executed in New York, papers in South America 
actually printed accounts that told of an admission fee 
being charged, with Governor Whitman taking tickets 
at the door. Into this situation the Germans projected 
themselves with vigor and decision. From the first, 
Berlin had an exact appreciation of the military value of 
public opinion, and it spent millions in its endeavor to 
win it or else to corrupt it. Just as the German propagand- 
ists worked in the United States during our period of neu- 
trality, using every effort to prejudice Americans against 



the Allies, so did they now attempt to poison the Allied 
and the neutral nations of the world against America. 

It is impossible even to estimate the amount of money 
spent on propaganda by the Germans. Russians compe- 
tent to judge assured us that the agents of Berlin spent 
$500,000,000 in that country alone in their work of cor- 
ruption and destruction, and their expenditures in Spain 
were estimated at $60,000,000. Close to $5,000,000 went 
to Bolo Pasha for the corruption of the Paris press, and the 
sums spent in Mexico ran high into the millions. I know 
that they owned or subsidized dailies in most of the im- 
portant cities of Spain, South America, the Orient, Scandi- 
navia, Switzerland, and Holland; that their publications, 
issued in every language, ran from costly brochures to the 
most expensive books and albums; that they thought 
nothing of paying $25,000 for a hole-in-the-wall picture- 
house, and that in every large city in every country their 
blackmailers and bribe-givers swarmed like carrion crows. 

Their propaganda, while playing upon different points 
of prejudice in various countries, was much the same in 
all countries. As an initial proposition America's military 
strength was derided. By no possibility could the United 
States raise or train an army, and if, by some miracle, 
this did happen, the army could not be transported. 
America was a fat, loblolly nation, lacking courage, equip- 
ment, and ships, etc., etc. Working away from this pleas- 
ing premise, Americans were described as a nation of 
dollar-grabbers, devoid of ideals, and inordinate in their 
ambitions. Our war with Mexico was played up as a 
cold-blooded, evil conquest and our struggle with Spain 
painted as an effort of our financial masters to enter upon 
dreams of world imperialism; Cuba, the Philippines, and 
Porto Rico were pitied as "America's slave nations"; 
Pershing's expedition to Mexico was declared to be the 
start of a war of conquest that we were later forced to 



relinquish because our "cowardice" shrank before the 
"dauntless" courage of Carranza; the Colorado coal 
strike, the Lawrence strike, and the Paterson strikes were 
all treated in the utmost detail to prove America's "system 
of wage-slavery"; pictures were drawn of tremendous 
wealth on the one hand and peonage on the other; lynch- 
ings were exaggerated until it was made to appear that 
almost every tree in America was used for purposes of ex- 
ecution, and we were charged in every conceivable form 
and fashion with being the secret partner of one or the 
other of the Allies in commercial plans to control the trade 
of the world. 

Where there was French sentiment, America was set 
down as the secret partner of England. Where English 
sentiment prevailed, we were the secret partner of France; 
and where Italian sentiment obtained, America, England, 
and France were assumed to be in a plot to destroy Italy. 

In Spain every effort was made to revive the prejudices 
and passions of 1898, and the pro-German press ran daily 
lies in proof of "Yankee Contempt for the Spaniard." 
One falsehood was that a favorite American recruiting 
slogan was: "Enlist for the War! Remember the Maine 
and Spain." 

In Switzerland we were accused of withholding grain 
shipments in order to starve the Swiss into alliance with 
us, and in South and Central America the Germans put 
full emphasis on the "Panama Canal rape" and the "con- 
quest and annexation" of Haiti and Santo Domingo. 

The German drive against us was particularly strong 
in Italy and France among the peasants, and weekly papers, 
printed in close imitation of French and Italian publica- 
tions, were circulated by the thousands. The French 
were asked to believe that the high prices were entirely 
due to the selfishness and extravagance of the Americans 
in France, also that the docks and railroads and warehouses 



built by the Expeditionary Forces would be permanent 
American properties with a view to the commercial enslave- 
ment of France and the French. 

Playing upon the fact that only a small number of 
American troops were in Italy, the German "fakes" kept 
up the continual cry : "Why is Italy deserted? A new and 
more terrific drive is on the way, but Foch keeps help 
from us. Pershing and the Americans are the dupes of 
the selfish French." 

In France the Gazette des Ardennes, published in French 
printing-offices in the occupied district, deceived thousands, 
and Italian newspapers were also printed and distributed 
from captured cities. In both cases, the names of well- 
known French and Italian writers and artists were forged 
to articles and cartoons. A principal propaganda weapon, 
however, was The Continental Times, published in Berlin, 
with branch office^ in Holland and Switzerland. Printed 
in English, edited by American and British renegades, and 
called "an independent cosmopolitan newspaper published 
in the interests of truth," the wretched sheet gave itself 
wholly to the dissemination of falsehood. It was pecul- 
iarly the medium used in attacking America, and in each 
issue there were columns devoted to the "failure" of our 
Liberty Loans, "armed resistance to the draft," the "utter 
breakdown" of our war preparations, and other like lies. 
In Russia particularly, but also among the labor and So- 
cialist grorps of all the neutral and Allied countries, exag- 
gerated attention was paid to the Mooney trial, the im- 
prisonment of Emma Goldman, the deportations in 
Arizona, and other matters intended to give the lying 
impression that there was an industrial autocracy in the 
United States more to be feared than the military autoc- 
racy of Germany. 

The great wireless plant at Nauen was used almost 
exclusively for propaganda, from two to three thousand 



words being "broadcasted" each day as a lure to neutrals. 
The navy picked it up regularly for studying by various 
divisions of the government, in order that we might know 
what lies to fight. 

Strangely enough, the Germans gathered much of their 
most effective material from our own press. From first 
to last American newspapers went to neutral countries 
without hindrance, and everything that they contained 
about "inefficiency," "graft," "delay," or "Wilson Bit- 
terly Arraigned as Dictator" was seized upon by the 
German propagandists and played across the board. Mr. 
Roosevelt's articles, however conscientiously intended as 
constructive criticism, were among the chief weapons used 
by the Germans in their propaganda attack in every 
country. Senator La Follette's speeches were printed 
between red covers and broadcasted. No wonder that 
the thing that fairly stunned the visiting Mexican editors 
was their first sight of an aviation-field! They honestly 
believed, as a result of reports of Congressional debates, 
that there was not one airplane in America that could fly. 

We were called upon to combat the prejudices of years, 
to buck a vast propaganda machinery with millions behind 
it, yet not only were we without equipment or agencies, 
but there was also the daily harassment of a press that 
refused to understand and the ignorances and partizan- 
ships of a Congress that counted the day lost that did 
not see some new obstacle thrown in the way of the Com- 
mittee on Public Information. 

Our one asset was the justice of our cause, our one hope 
the carrying power of truth, and not the least factor of 
our success in every neutral country was the honesty of 
our initial approach. We did not send agents secretly to 
carry on their work by stealth, but to each government 
we addressed an honest statement of purpose somewhat 
after this fashion: 



It is desired to establish in your country offices for the dis- 
tribution of a wireless cable, and mail news service to the press; 
for the exhibition of motion pictures expressive of America's 
purpose and energies, for the assignment of speakers, for pam- 
phlet distribution, and for other similar open activities. There 
will be no item nor pamphlet that we will not be willing to sub- 
mit to the inspection of qualified officials, for our purpose is not 
the coercion of public opinion, but the information of public 
opinion to the end that there may be a better understanding 
between our two countries. 

We desire to do these things openly, not only because it is 
the national policy to avoid secrecy, but because it is our desire 
to do nothing contrary to the wishes of your government or viola- 
tive of the neutrality that we respect. It is not the idea of the 
United States to conduct propaganda in neutral countries in 
the sense of attacking the motives and methods of the 'enemy, 
or in the nature of argument designed to compel or to persuade 
certain courses of conduct. Our activities in every neutral 
country are open and aboveboard, confined always to a very 
frank exposition of America's war aims, the nation's ideals, and 
future hopes. 

A news service was soon carrying several thousand 
words a day to the press of the world, a clarion as to 
America's war preparation and progress, America's pur- 
pose, thought, and aims. It was through this machinery 
that we were able to give universal circulation to the 
addresses of the President, putting them in every language 
within forty-eight hours of their delivery. 

Under the direction of Ernest Poole, the author, a 
Foreign Mail Press Bureau was also formed that soon 
enlisted the services of many well-known writers and 
publicists in the United States. Week by week, a package 
went out to every one of our foreign representatives, 
carrying material designed to clear away all points of 
misunderstanding and misconception that prevailed, or 
might prevail, in foreign countries in regard to America, 
its life, work, ideals, and opinions; material in the shape 



of editorial comment from newspapers, and original 
special articles prepared by accepted authorities, covering 
every phase of our national activity education, agri- 
culture, invention, co-operative ventures, modern ma- 
chinery, rural free delivery, social legislation, etc., etc. 

Charles Dana Gibson, at the head of the mobilized 
artists of the United States, and Charles S. Hart, director 
of the Film Division, worked closely with Mr. Poole, and 
through the Foreign Press Bureau went out posters, 
captioned in every language, millions of picture postals, 
and "still" photographs for purposes of display. In 
every country the show-windows of American business 
houses were commandeered and used for the display of 
posters, bulletins, and photographs, all changed at short 
intervals just as a theatrical offering is changed. 

The problem of the spoken word was an awkward one 
to solve. At first we tried the experiment of selecting 
Americans of foreign birth, men of achievement in their 
particular trades and professions, and sending them back 
to their native lands for speaking tours. Certain patriotic 
Socialists, despatched to France and Italy, did splendid 
work along this line, and various other groups functioned 
very well. Speakers were not sent anywhere, however, 
unless they could be kept under careful observation, so 
that the use of oratory was therefore limited. 

Capt. Charles E. Merriam finally evolved the idea 
of finding native Italians who knew America, filling them 
up with our latest facts and figures, and sending them out 
to talk to their own people. The scheme worked so well 
that we adopted it in some other countries, drawing im- 
partially from the universities, shops, and farms. It was 
Captain Merriam, too, who thought of suggesting to 
General Pershing that wounded Americans of Italian 
birth or descent be invalided to Italy for convalescence. 
These men turned out to be our best propagandists, preach- 



ing the gospel of democracy with a fervor and under- 
standing that would have shamed many an heir of Plym- 
outh Rock. 

James F. Kerney, in charge in France until the late 
summer of 1918, added to our working capital of experience 
by virtually mobilizing the French universities in the in- 
terests of America. French professors of standing who 
* knew the United States were "educated" up to date, and 
these volunteers, proceeding from university to university, 
"educated" the various faculties, who in turn spread 
out over the communities with the truth about the United 
States and L* effort americain. 

Reading-rooms were also established, with all the pam- 
phlets, posters, and picture postals of the Committee for 
distribution, and with a full equipment of American books, 
newspapers, and magazines. Mr. Robert H. Murray, 
head of the work in Mexico, introduced a rather novel ex- 
periment in the shape of classes in English, American 
residents giving their time as teachers free of charge. 
These classes, ten a week, drew an average attendance of 
about eight hundred young men, and the instruction gave 
splendid opportunity to preach the history, aims, and ideals 
of America, with the result that every one of the eight 
hundred became an understanding champion of the United 

The foreign-born, and those of foreign descent, played 
no small part in our educational effort. As I have related 
in previous chapters, the twenty-three principal foreign- 
language groups in the United States formed themselves 
into loyalty leagues and aided in the organization of great 
meetings from coast to coast that not only pledged the de- 
votion of America's adopted sons to the President and the 
war, but also sent resolutions across the seas to strengthen 
the hearts of the firing-line and sustain the determination 
of the civilian population. 
17 *6 


After the Caporetto disaster, when it seemed that Italy 
might have to be dismissed as a factor in the war, the 
Italians in America rallied as one man, and for weeks the 
cables were loaded down with messages, and the mails 
were filled with letters, all telling the preparations of 
America, pledging the aid of America, calling for courage 
and redoubled effort. The results were almost instantly 
apparent, and the Italian government has stated repeat- 
edly that it was this cry of faith and command from the 
United States that stiffened the Italian defensive into a 
resistless offensive. 

A feature of this phase of the work that had the most 
far-reaching effect probably was the great Fourth-of-July 
celebration, organized and handled by those of foreign 
birth or foreign descent. Each race in each city had its 
own story to send back to its country, its own set of 
motion pictures for distribution in its native land, and there 
was the great climax in the pilgrimage to Mount Vernon 
by representatives of the thirty-three foreign-language 
groups as the guests of the President. To this very day, 
in almost every country of the world, the stories of the 
Fourth of July are being printed, the pictures are being 
shown, and the speech of President Wilson has been trans- 
lated into every language and has achieved wide use in the 
public schools. 

So the work went on, each day forcing enlargements, 
each week witnessing progress, until at last there came 
the time when it was possible to say, "We have won." 
The things that we set out to do were done. The morale 
of the Allied fighting fronts had been galvanized, and faith 
and friendship had been substituted for dislike and dis- 
trust in the hearts of the civilian populations; the neutral 
nations had been brought to a conviction of American 
victory and a belief in American idealism, and the German 
censorship, breaking under our attack, let through the 



truth to soldiers and civilians a flood that crumbled the 
rotten structures of lies. Whatever may be the con- 
dition to-day after months of a Congress that brought to 
the surface all that was mean and despicable in American 
life, the fact remains that on the day of the armistice there 
was not a corner of earth that did not know us as we were 
a people with failures behind us, but struggling indomi- 
tably to the heights ; a people materialistic in achievement, 
but idealistic in every aspiration and, knowing us, they 
liked and trusted us. 

As chairman of the Committee on Public Information, 
keenly aware of the importancies and intricacies of 
these foreign activities, I exercised personal direction of 
all the work until the various trails were well blazed and 
when the need of undivided executive attention became 
imperative. Mr. Arthur Woods, former police commis- 
sioner of New York City, was decided upon as director 
of the Foreign Section, but within a week the aviation 
division of the army begged his services, and, knowing the 
bitter need for his type of genius, I released him. In 
January, 1918, at the height of our new search for the right 
man, Will Irwin dropped from heaven, via Europe, and vol- 
unteered for six months of service. He knew Western 
Europe intimately, was thoroughly familiar with German 
propaganda in all of its forms, and in addition to this 
knowledge he brought vision to the work, originality, and 
an enthusiasm that had the carry of a bullet. 

He stayed his promised six months, carrying through the 
great Fourth-of-July celebration that was his idea, and after 
his return to his European work the post of director of 
the Foreign Section fell to Edgar G. Sisson, just back from 
Russia. At his right hand Mr. Sisson placed Carl Byoir 
as associate and business director, and Harry N. Rickey 
as assistant general director, and these three swept the pro- 
gram through to the end. Mr. Rickey, formerly executive 



head of the Newspaper Enterprise Association, had served 
as the Committee's representative in London, and brought 
experience to the aid of his rare ability. As for Mr. Byoir, 
he had, like Mr. Sisson, "grown up" with the Committee. 
Sacrificing his own business interests to serve, he soon 
came to be known among us as the "multiple director," 
for I used his organizing ability in division after division, 
moving him from one to the other, and, whether the activity 
was domestic or foreign, he showed equal skill in giving 
it efficiency, force, and direction. 

The record would not be complete without recognition 
of the devoted and effective services of those who served 
the Foreign Section in the capitals of the world. In Russia 
Arthur Bullard, author and publicist, fought the fight from 
Petrograd to Vladivostok; Charles E. Merriam, of the 
University of Chicago, spread the gospel over Italy; 
James F. Kerney, editor of The Trenton Times, handled the 
difficult .^clearing-house job in France; Charles Edward 
Russell, Harry Rickey, and Paul Perry wrestled in turn 
with the English problem; George Edward Riis, son of 
Jacob Riis, went to Denmark, the home of his fathers; Eric 
Palmer, a first-class newspaper man of Swedish descent, 
and Guy Croswell Smith, in charge of films, were our 
representatives in Sweden; Mrs. Norman de R. White- 
house carried the cause to victory in Switzerland; Henry 
Suydam, European correspondent of The Brooklyn Eagle, 
gave up his position to serve his country in Holland; 
Frank J. Marion, president of the Kalem Company, 
looked after Spain and Portugal; Robert H. Murray, 
for years the correspondent of The New York World, was 
our representative in Mexico; to Buenos Aires we sent 
Henry B. Sevier; to Chile, A. A. Preciado; in Peru we found 
C. V. Griffis, an American editing a powerful newspaper; 
in Brazil Ambassador Edwin V. Morgan was the real head 
of the work; S. P. Verner handled Central America, from 



Panama; and in the Orient, Carl Crow, the American 
correspondent, achieved brilliantly, aided at all times by 
Paul Reinsch, our Minister to China, and Roland Morris, 
our Ambassador to Japan. 

Each man went to his post with few assistants, usually 
a good news editor, a motion-picture expert, and perhaps 
a stenographer. Translators were expected to be engaged 
on the ground and from the American colony. Every- 
where the consular corps gave intelligent, earnest aid. 
Too great credit cannot be given to the devoted drudgery 
of these small forces. 



WHEN we first set about the creation of a news ma- 
chinery to carry American facts to the world a natural 
reliance was placed upon cables, the one established medium 
for international communication. The cables, however, 
were virtually all foreign owned, the rates were prohibitive, 
and, what was even more conclusive, all were so overbur- 
dened as to endanger vital war business by their delays. 
Forced to look in some other direction, our eyes fell upon 
the wireless, taken over by the navy some time before 
and lying idle for a good part of the time. Without more 
ado, we placed our problem before Secretary Daniels, 
who, understanding and co-operative as always, put the 
wireless stations of the United States at our disposal, and 
likewise the expert navy personnel. 

The next step was an organization, and in the very mo- 
ment of need a gangling, youngish, Lincolnesque type 
walked into my office with a burst of conversation about 
"world communication." Others may collect stamps or 
coins, play golf or polo, but Walter S. Rogers of Chicago, 
as far as I know, is the only living man whose hobby is 
"news transmission," and it took a world war to get him 
his chance to ride it. It was his belief, and a sane one, that 
peoples best understand each other through the exchange 
of news, and he had just returned from a world tour 
devoted to a study of cable rates, press agencies, distribu- 
ting machinery, etc. 



Mr. Rogers was made director of the newly established 
Division of Wireless and Cable Service, and as his associate 
we were fortunate in the securement of Perry Arnold, 
cable editor of the United Press, and one of the ablest and 
most experienced men in the newspaper profession. An- 
other piece of good luck was Capt. David W. Todd, 
Chief of Naval Communications, for aside from his brill- 
iant specialized ability he gave a co-operation that was 
as helpful as it was enthusiastic. 

Offices were taken in New York, a news force gathered, 
and in September, 1917, "Compub," as its code address 
soon advertised it to the world, commenced business. 
The first service was from Tuckerton to the wireless station 
at Lyons. From Lyons by arrangement with the French 
government it went to our office in Paris, and after trans- 
lation and distribution to the press of France, Mr. Kerney 
relayed it to our offices in Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and 

The next step in the world dissemination of news came 
through arrangements heartily entered into by the British 
government. The same wireless report sent to Lyons 
was intercepted by navy operators at the American naval 
base, and relayed to London, where the representatives 
of the Committee received it, and distributed it to the 
English press. 

The London office, in turn, relayed the service to the 
Committee's representative in The Hague for the Dutch 
press, a highly important operation in the machinery, as 
many Dutch papers managed to get past the German 
censorship. A further relay was to our offices in Copen- 
hagen and Stockholm for translation and distribution to 
the newspapers of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, and 
here again, particularly in the case of Copenhagen, we had 
a chance to beat the German censors. In Switzerland, too, 
we scored heavily against the Germans in the same fashion. 



The service also went from London to Saloniki and other 
Greek points, for not only was Greece to be considered, 
but it was good ground from which to shoot into the 

Our first effort to serve Russia was by wireless, and after 
much experimentation under the direction of Captain 
Todd we were actually able to reach the Russian station 
at Moscow. When the Bolsheviki overthrew Kerensky, 
however, one of their first actions was to grab the wireless 
stations. The one at Moscow, either intentionally or 
through ignorance, they put out of operation. Cut off in 
this quarter, the Committee's representatives managed 
to obtain permission for a cable service, and this went from 
New York direct from three to five hundred words a day. 
When the President spoke or when some major action was 
taken, we shot it through as a "special." 

With Europe accounted for, attention was next given 
to South and Central America. At first glance it seemed 
a simple enough proposition, for virtually every South 
and Central American country had a wireless station and 
each government agreed instantly to take our news ser- 
vice out of the air. Our representatives would then 
attend to the business of translation and distribution. 
It was not even the case that dependence had to be placed 
on the one wireless leap from Tuckerton, for there was our 
own high-power station on the Isthmus of Panama to act 
as a relay. What seemed easy in theory, however, proved 
impossible in practice. Only Brazil " made good," the other 
South American stations falling down completely. As a 
consequence Compub had to inaugurate a cable service 
from New York to the Argentine, but, fortunately enough, 
we were able to arrange a "drop copy" plan that gave 
the matter to Lima, Santiago, Valparaiso, and all other 
cities touched by the cable. Buenos Aires distributed 
to Uruguay and Paraguay, the Brazilian wireless took care 



of the north, and so in a few months South America was 
thoroughly covered. 

Mr. John Collins, "borrowed" from the Panama Canal 
Board, handled Central America from Darien, broad- 
casting it for interception by the wireless stations of the 
United Fruit Company. There was also a special cable 
service circulated gratis through co-operation of the 
Haiti Cable Company. It consisted of a summary of the 
day's news, approximating four hundred words daily, 
which was prepared by this office and sent over cables 
of the Haitian Company to all their offices. By these 
offices it was posted in various Central American and Carib- 
bean cities or sold by the cable company's agents to various 
newspapers, etc. In this way many cities and xjommu- 
nities otherwise totally cut off from news of the world 
received adequate news summaries of the day's happen- 
ings and true news of America. 

On studying Mexico, a distinct problem, we discovered 
that while the Associated Press served the Mexican morn- 
ing newspapers, the afternoon press was not reached by 
any American agency. Compub, therefore, undertook 
a special service of its own, sending three hundred words 
daily to the City of Mexico for national distribution by 
Mr. Murray's office. A duplicate was generally sent to 
the American consular services along the Texas border, 
and very effective use was made of it. 

The next link in the world chain was the Orient. Com- 
pub opened a branch office in San Francisco, and Mr. W. 
B. Clausen, "loaned" to us by the Associated Press, 
commenced the preparation of a daily service of particu- 
lar interest to China, Japan, the Philippines, and Hawaii. 
The navy wireless station at San Diego flashed this to 
Pearl Harbor for distribution to the Hawaiian press, and 
from Pearl Harbor it went to the Philippines. Our origi- 
nal theory was that the Chinese and Japanese stations 



would receive from Manila, but owing to many mechanical 
difficulties it became necessary for our own station at 
Guam to take the service out of the air and put it on the 
cables to Tokio and to Shanghai. In China Mr. Crow, 
the Compub representative, distributed the service 
through a specially organized chain of newspapers, 
and in Japan we worked through the Kokusai and 
Nippon Dempo, the two principal news associations. 
Mr. Crow, in Shanghai, also relayed the service to 
Vladivostok, where our office gave it Siberian circu- 
lation. Distant Australia picked the service out of 
the air and used it. As the importance of the work became 
apparent, and as results were proved, the service increased 
its output. The regular wireless "report" was doubled 
and trebled in size, the navy's splendid efficiency in radio 
transmission permitting this expansion, and utilization 
was also made of the cables. Where some important 
official statement was released and publication desired 
abroad, Compub, with the co-operation of the foreign 
press associations and correspondents, sent such state- 
ments for simultaneous delivery and release. 

This, then, was the ground-plan of America's world 
news service. When its strength and efficiency had been 
tested thoroughly, the machinery was augmented and im- 
proved at every possible point. Mr. Rogers and Mr. 
Arnold, selecting slowly and carefully, had gathered about 
them such newspaper men as Herman Suter, R. R. Reilly, 
Frank S. Gardner, Theodore Wallen, R. J. Rochon, E. F. 
Wilson, and Lieut. F. E. Ackerman and Lieut. P. S. 
O'Reilly (borrowed from the navy), constituting a force 
ready for any expansion. 

Continued pressure upon the Italian government finally 
resulted in wireless improvements to such a degree that 
the station in Rome was able to receive directly from 
Tuckerton. This did away with the necessity of relay 



from Paris and enabled the New York office to pour a 
daily stream of news straight into Italy, an immediate 
contact to which the Italian press responded enthusiasti- 

As Spain became more and more of a battle-ground, 
the relay service from Paris became insufficient, so a special 
cable service was sent to New York direct to Mr. Marion 
in Madrid, who worked out a splendid co-operative arrange- 
ment with Fabra, the official Spanish news agency, as well 
as serving Madrid papers directly, and issuing a news 
bulletin of his own. 

The installation of Compub at Vladivostok, Harbin, 
Irkutsk, and Omsk in Siberia enabled us to send a direct 
Russian service from the wireless station at San Francisco. 
The naval vessel Brooklyn relayed the service at Vladi- 
vostok until a land wireless station was erected there. 
From London, in time, also went out several hundred 
words a day by cable to the American consul at Archangel, 
which were distributed to the American soldiers in that 
region as well as to the press. 

London's importance as a clearing-house was recog- 
nized by the addition of a "localized" service of some six 
hundred words to the regular daily wireless. This included 
specialized news for England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, 
Holland, Scandinavia, Greece, and other nations. The 
Field, a British periodical of large circulation, was induced 
through representatives of the Committee on duty in Lon- 
don to arrange for an "American Department." In this 
department the division furnished a great deal of American 
publicity matter, including, generally, a special cabled 
article weekly. Aside from the publicity obtained in this 
magazine, the editor, Sir Theodore Cook, a great admirer 
of America and of Americans, took a keen interest in cir- 
culation of American news, and through wide personal 
acquaintance with British editors and journalists got them 



frequently to reprint the American articles appearing in 
his periodical. 

The National News organization was a British propaganda 
agency operating throughout the British Isles and particu- 
larly in Ireland. Many special news articles were prepared 
for this agency by Compub, and it proved a very effective 
medium of distribution. The Y. M. C. A. also gave a daily 
bulletin circulation among rest houses, camps, and clubs. 

As the maintenance of Allied morale was one of Compub *s 
fundamental purposes, naturally enough Compub was 
called upon to assist in the work of keeping up the morale 
of American soldiers in France. What the doughboys 
missed most, and wanted most, was news of home and 
home folks. What news was printed was mostly of national 
affairs or of the war. There was no newspaper in Europe 
which could afford the expense of cabling items of purely 
local interest to the boys from Helena, Mont., or of Mil- 
waukee, or San Francisco, or Cincinnati, or scores of other 
American cities. What was wanted was tiny bits of "home 
news" for the soldier little items which would keep him 
in touch with conditions in his home town, just as a letter 
from his chum, or his mother, brother, sister, or sweet- 
heart, or wife would do. 

To meet this need, Compub inaugurated a "home news" 
service, sending it by wireless to France in addition to the 
regular daily service. 

The American press was combed by readers in the New 
York offices for "homey news," every effort being made 
to cover the whole of the United States, and a report of 
nearly fifteen hundred words daily was prepared from these 
small items of news, none of which in themselves averaged 
more than fifty words each. The wireless carried this, 
and, incidentally, the Paris edition of The London Daily 
Mail, and of The New York Herald, used this service 



In the distribution of this matter to the soldier overseas 
the Foreign Press Cable Service had the co-operation of 
all American welfare services the Young Men's Christian 
Association, Red Cross, Knights of Columbus, Young 
Men's Hebrew Association, Salvation Army, and others 
as well as the army authorities. The latter granted 
permission for transmission of these home-news items 
over army wires from Paris to the front. The welfare 
organizations received copies in the huts close to the front 
and posted them for the benefit of the soldiers. Several 
welfare organizations in London and Paris printed a daily 
"newspaper" composed of these items, and despatched 
copies by mail to all recreation centers, hospitals, canteens, 
huts, etc., within reach. American sailors received them, 
navy wireless operators copying them throughout the 
reach of the American wireless sending station. 

Early in the summer of 1918, when American troops 
entered in the "great push," Compub was called upon 
to extend its services of information still farther. Perry 
Arnold was sent abroad to study methods of news dis- 
tribution and to organize a "news from the American 
front" service. He inspected the Committee's offices in 
London, Paris, and Madrid, and employed Maximilian 
Foster, the well-known novelist and writer, as the Com- 
mittee's representative at the front with the American 
army, after himself having started such a service. 

This service from the front was cabled and wirelessed 
throughout the world, giving a daily analysis of what 
American troops were doing in the Great War. General 
Pershing's staff at American headquarters was at all times 
in full sympathy with a plan of telling the world exactly 
what American soldiers were doing, and Compub 's repre- 
sentative was accorded the fullest facility in visiting the 
front and in transmitting his despatches via army wires. 

The formation in New York of the local foreign corre- 



spondents in an association, one of Mr. Rogers's ideas, 
resulted in the doubling and trebling of the descriptive 
and interpretative matter that went out from the United 
States to the other countries of the world. As a result, 
a new and keener interest in America was aroused, and many 
of the European papers established "American depart- 
ments." To meet this demand, Compub commenced a 
biweekly wireless service that carried feature matter 
and specialized material susceptible to illustration and edi- 
torial treatment. 

Another duty of Compub was to keep in the closest 
possible touch with the trend of enemy propaganda. Its 
agents abroad reported on conditions frequently, and in 
the New York office certain employees were detailed 
regularly to read and analyze all German propaganda 
material received here a great part of it being wireless 
matter sent by the great German wireless station at Nauen 
and intercepted by the United States Navy Communi- 
cation station. By a co-operative arrangement with the 
publicity offices in America of the Allies, Compub likewise 
distributed to the American press all of the official British 
propaganda wireless material (intercepted by the American 
wireless stations) and on occasion special announcements 
"broadcasted" by the stations of the French and Italian 

In this manner, and scores of other ways, Compub 
expanded and improved, swift to take advantage of oppor- 
tunity, keen to see new needs, and growing in strength, 
certainty, and importance. At its peak no news organi- 
zation in the world, or in history, equaled Compub in the 
sweep of its operations, for there was not a corner of the 
earth into which it did not flash America's message. What 
is more, it was a message that carried conviction, for at no 
time did Compub depart from its original purpose the 
presentation of facts. It was not our idea to argue, but to 



inform, for such was the justice of America's case, the 
wonder of America's achievement, that we felt that in- 
formation was in itself the most conclusive argument. 

The most important of all Compub activities and the 
most dramatic was the universal circulation of the Presi- 
dent's official addresses. From the day that he went 
before the Senate, asking it to recognize the existence of a 
state of war, the President was accepted by the Allies as the 
official spokesman, for his imperishable words cut through 
every confusion of controversy down to the very heart 
of truth and justice in human aspiration. Nevertheless, 
owing to the congestion of the cables and the enormous 
expense of cable tolls, the President's addresses were not 
printed in full in Europe, and in other countries of the 
world only trifling excerpts were given to the people. 
This opened the door to a double danger, for not only 
were the Allied Powers being deprived of an effective 
weapon, but the German propaganda machine took ad- 
vantage of the situation to suppress, to distort, and even 
to circulate text, not alone in Germany, but in the neutral 

One of our first decisions was to give textual distribu- 
tion of the President's speeches, not only to Europe but 
to every quarter of the civilized globe. This vast project 
could not have been carried through to success without 
the generous co-operation of the great world press agencies. 
Compub paid the cable and telegraph tolls on the speeches 
and messages plus a small overhead charge, but this only 
partially covered the immense expenditure of time and 
energy in the distribution. 

Immediately upon the signing of the armistice, orders 
were given to close every division of the Committee on 
Public Information with the exception of the wireless and 
cable service and their necessary distributing offices. It 
was not only the case that there still remained the neces- 



sity of putting true reports of the Peace Conference before 
the people of the world, but the press of America itself 
demanded aid in telling the story of Paris to the people 
of the United States. The cables, already overburdened, 
became hopelessly jammed when an army of American 
newspaper men commenced to file daily despatches in 
Paris for quick transmission. 

Mr. Rogers proceeded to France at once, and after 
conference with the Associated Press, the United Press, 
the International News Service, and the correspondents of 
metropolitan dailies, a plan was worked out that put Corn- 
pub at the disposal of the newspapers of the United States. 



A 1 the outset it was seen that the wireless and the cables, 
even used to the utmost, could not meet our foreign 
needs. It was not enough to give the world the daily 
news of America's war effort, our military progress, and the 
official declarations and expositions with respect to our war 
aims and determinations. There were lies of long stand- 
ing that had to be met and defeated lies that attacked 
America as "dollar-mad," that maligned our free insti- 
tutions, that denied our liberty and our justice. What 
was needed were short descriptives of our development 
as a nation and a people; our social and industrial progress; 
our schools; our laws; our treatment of workers, women 
and children; a mail service, in fact, that could be taken 
by our foreign representatives, translated, rewritten if 
necessary, and pushed into the foreign press to the greatest 
possible extent. 

Mr. Ernest Poole was given charge of this new under- 
talcing, and, with the assistance of Mr. Paul Kennaday, 
he gathered about him a volunteer staff of brilliant men 
and women writers. 

One feature that would have justified the work, had it 
stood alone, was a series of weekly or monthly letters by 
such well-known authors as Owen Wister, Booth Tarking- 
ton, Gertrude Atherton, William Shepard, Ellis Parker 
Butler, Henry Kitchell Webster, Robert Herrick, Arthur 

18 261 


Gleason, Will Payne, Mary Shipman Andrews, Anne 
O'Hagan Shinn, and Walter Prichard Eaton. Other dis- 
tinguished contributors were William Dean Howells, Ida 
Tarbell, Wallace Irwin, Meredith Nicholson, Fannie Hurst, 
Edna Ferber, Samuel Merwin, and William Allen White, 
also scores of government experts, university and college 
professors, and men and women of specialized abilities. 
The Foreign Press Bureau was, in effect, a "feature ser- 
vice" operating on demand. Our foreign representatives 
would cable, "Can use to good advantage one thousand 
words on American lumber industry," or on equal suffrage, 
or on university extension, or on unions, or on free-milk 
depots, or on the use of the schoolhouse as a community 
center, or the co-operative marketing of dairy products 
in Wisconsin, or the "honor and trust" system of Colorado 
prisons, or the jury system of the United States, or mu- 
nicipal bath-houses, or free legal-aid bureaus, or a short 
history of the United States for children, etc. And 
straightway the home office would get in touch with "the" 
authorities on the various subjects, and have them turn 
out the signed articles. For instance, we made Booth 
Tarkington drop everything to write "American Facts and 
German Propaganda," an article so virile and attractive 
that after millions had read it in the English papers the 
British government made arrangements with our London 
representative to reprint, and at its own expense distributed 
eight hundred and fifty thousand pamphlets in England. 
It was also widely used in other countries. 

In describing war aims and national activities the Foreign 
Press Bureau took the statements of the President, of the 
Secretary of State, and of other government officials, 
material from several hundred newspapers, weekly and 
monthly magazines, also the pronouncements of promi- 
nent citizens and organizations throughout the country, 

giving every shade of opinion. 



About one-half of the service consisted of news and feat- 
ure articles, government bulletins, etc., describing the 
activities of the army and navy war preparations of all 
kinds, the recruiting of volunteers, the method and opera- 
tion of the selective draft, the work in the cantonments, 
the going of our troops to France, and the many increasing 
activities there. Also the making of munitions, the build- 
ing of ships, the vast work of the United States navy, and 
the rapidly deepening spirit all over the United States 
of unity and determination in the prosecution of the war. 

In addition we dealt with various fields of activities, 
such as agriculture and food conservation, industry and 
finance, labor, education, religion, and medicine, in relation 
to the work of the war and the growth of our democracy. 
These articles were a means of reaching a wider public 
abroad for owing to the lack of paper the foreign news- 
papers were greatly diminished in size, and although a 
large amount of our material did succeed in gaining a place 
in their columns, we felt it urgent to go farther, and by 
sending many special articles and getting them published 
in the trade and other special journals and magazines of 
each country, we gradually widened our circle of readers. 

On the staff, or working as volunteer helpers from out- 
side, were men and women with a special knowledge of 
England, France, Italy, Russia, Holland, Sweden, Norway, 
Denmark, Germany, Austria, Serbia, Spain, and Latin- 
American countries. With Hamilton Owens as editor-in- 
chief, it was their work to write or edit supplementary 
material of particular interest to each country. Prof. 
Arthur Livingston, the editor for Italy, could write col- 
loquial Italian and had a good working knowledge of the 
principal newspapers in Italy. He wrote for such papers 
special news letters, which were sent by mail or cable, 
describing activities of Italians in this country, their 
support of the war, etc.; also editorial opinion here as 



it concerned our relations with Italy and the part that 
country played in the war; messages from administration 
officials here on Italian operations and comment from United 
States public men on Italian problems and events; also 
statements by various well-known Italians who visited 
this country during the war. The various official missions 
from Italy were in constant touch with this office; we 
supplemented the official programs arranged by other 
organizations, bringing the visitors into touch with people 
they desired to meet, getting publicity for them in various 
ways, and furnishing them with special material for use 
after their return to Europe. In this connection we insti- 
tuted the plan for having a ship christened the Piave and 
for making the event an occasion for the exchange of 
official and popular expressions of esteem between the 
governments of Italy and of the United States. 

More or less along these lines special articles were also 
sent to England, France, and Spain in large numbers, 
being written or edited either by staff editors or by volun- 
teer helpers from outside. At first by Mr. Elias Tobenkin, 
and later by Dr. Francis Snow, similar work was done 
for Russia whenever that was possible, meeting Bolshevist 
and German statements against us by articles describing 
true conditions in this country, our democracy at home, 
and our purpose in the war, as well as the wide-spread 
friendliness here at first toward the Russian revolution 
and the willingness to support any effort which gave, in 
our opinion, hope of a real and lasting practical democracy 

For Austria and Germany articles were obtained by 
Doctor Groszmann, of our staff, from prominent German- 
Americans here loyal to this country and making an appeal 
to the people of Germany and Austria to throw off their 
old rulers and begin to re-establish themselves in the good 
opinion of the world. Such articles made it plain that the 



warfare conducted by the German and Austrian govern- 
ments had made these countries hated, not only by native 
Americans, but by those of German birth. In this con- 
nection we also ran various articles exposing German 
methods of propaganda. 

For the Scandinavian countries and Holland, a bureau 
under Mr. Edwin Bjorkman did such good work that it 
soon became impossible to pick up a Scandinavian publica- 
tion of any kind without finding references to America, 
indicating an eager desire to understand what this country 
stood for and what it intended to do in the future. It 
was through Sweden, among others, that some of our 
material directed to the Germans was sent after the sign- 
ing of the armistice. 

A pictorial service grew up in response to increased 
demands from our agents in foreign countries. Under 
the direction of Mr. W. H. Whitton and Mr. Frank Tuttle, 
it provided each week photographs, cuts, and mats to 
illustrate our articles, photographs to the number of 
fifteen hundred per week for display upon easels in shop- 
windows, and some sixty thousand large news pictorials 
to be placed in the many thousands of shop-windows in 
foreign countries which were available for our use. Seven 
hundred and fifty wooden easels were made, each carrying 
twelve pictures, and the resident commissioners distributed 
them and provided for the weekly change of photographs 
that gave each easel the attraction of a "show." The 
pictorial service also distributed widely the war posters 
of this country and millions of picture post-cards showing 
forth our war activities. The window hangers were sent 
out in sets of six each week with captions in various lan- 
guages, such as English, French, Italian, Swedish, Portu- 
guese, Spanish, Danish, Norwegian, and Dutch. Unim- 
printed display sheets were sent to Russia, China, Japan, 
Korea, some parts of India, etc. For the Oriental coun- 



tries a special version was printed, with a wide margin on 
the right-hand side, thus allowing the space necessary for 
imprinting the language of the country receiving them. 
With all unimprinted material either English printed 
samples or English captions were inclosed. 

Through various organizations of United States exporters 
to foreign countries an Export Service was established 
under Mr. Edward Bernays, beginning with Latin America 
and finally taking in a large part of Europe. Our articles 
and photographs were printed regularly in the several 
large export journals, and from our articles we made, in 
various languages, brief inserts telling of war aims and 
activities to be inclosed with business catalogues and also 
to be sent in tens of thousands of letters mailed weekly 
from the United States. In obtaining means of distri- 
bution, the confidential lists of many great commercial 
interests were used. The exporters put themselves solidly 
behind every resident commissioner, and the success of 
the pictorial service was entirely due to the fact that 
six hundred and fifty branches of American business houses 
scattered over the world put all their window space at 
the Committee's disposal. 

The distribution of pamphlets was made by mail or 
direct delivery. Important utterances of the President 
and documents prepared in each country with a view to 
answering local questions were printed locally in numbers 
running from five to thirty thousand and distributed 
through co-operation with American, British, French, and 
Italian commercial and government organizations in each 

The American reading-rooms opened by resident com- 
missioners received their supplies from the Foreign Press 
Bureau, and lectures delivered in different countries by 
nationals were also based on material furnished by the 
home office. Data regarding the United States, including 



standard magazines, books, and periodicals, were furnished 
to public and private bodies and schools, and public libra- 
ries were supplied with American newspapers and peri- 
odicals, and in some cases particularly desirable books 
relating to public questions. 

The Foreign Press Bureau, in conjunction with the 
Export Division, also devoted itself to the preparation 
of particular pamphlet and news material for South 
America, under the direction of Lieutenant Ackerman, 
U. S. N., attached to the staff. It furnished the head- 
quarters in the different countries with posters from all 
the branches of the government devoted to war-work and 
aided the bureaus in forwarding campaigns for War, Savings 
Stamps, Liberty Loan, and Red Cross, and other activities 
in each of their territories. It arranged for the publication 
in all magazines in the United States having foreign cir- 
culation for such articles and editorials indicating our 
attitude toward world questions. In addition to serving the 
accredited commissioners of the Committee on Public 
Information, a Bureau of Latin-American Affairs sent 
pamphlet and news material, pictures, cuts, mats, and the 
pictorial news service to a large number of volunteer 
distributors throughout Mexico and Central and South 

The Foreign Press Bureau, while setting forth in detail 
the aims and ideals of America, the determinations and 
war efforts of a free people, also put great emphasis upon 
acquainting the rest of the world with the facts of American 
life. We wanted other nations to know us, to understand 
us, and in consequence the work concentrated in certain 
great fields. For instance, with respect to education, we 
endeavored to reach the hundreds of thousands of teachers 
in foreign countries through the press and to bind them 
together more closely in friendship and good will. They 
represented a great international force hitherto unmobil- 



ized, but united by multiple bonds of similar aims and ac- 
tivities. Throughout the neutral and Allied world enemy 
propagandists had circulated among them every conceivable 
distortion of our education and ideals. These needed to 
be counteracted by truthful interpretations, which, how- 
ever, sought to avoid tendencies toward superlatives, and 
to allow accurate statements of fact to carry their own story. 

Each week we sent out articles on education, edited by 
Dr. William H. Hirt, which were forwarded to some 
thirty-five foreign countries, where our representatives 
received, translated, and passed them on to the press of 
the country in question. There, as a rule, they appeared 
either in the public, the literary, or the technical educational 
press. Many of these articles were especially written for 
us on request by leading educators all over the United 

Further, the educational press of the United States 
generously gave permission to use their current articles, 
and also signified a readiness to accept our proposed ex- 
change service. This exchange program was based on 
the idea that only as people have things in common can 
they co-operate. Basic among these things is knowledge 
about one another. Unfortunately, the teachers of the 
world know little about one another. The great mass of 
the graded school-teachers have had little chance for travel 
or study of other peoples. So while we asked our educators 
to interpret our educational system and ideals and progress 
to others, we also asked foreign nations to interpret their 
systems to us, feeling that we had much to learn from 
these older cultures. In England, in Spain, and elsewhere 
the government authorized a native educator to mobilize 
such writings of his people for us. 

For the purpose of translating such articles over here a 
large staff of volunteer translators offered their services 
without compensation. Special requests cabled from cer- 



tain countries were met, and the articles, often illustrated 
with pictures of American school equipment and life, went 
by the next mail. 

With respect to food, fuel, and textiles, our aim was to 
emphasize the position of the United States as the greatest 
source of the world's reserve supplies of food, fuels, and 
textiles, and to show this country's determination to keep 
the Allied fighting forces and civilian populations provided 
with the necessities of life. We emphasized throughout 
the patriotism, self-sacrifice, and good will toward Allied 
nations among the people of the United States as expressed 
in food and fuel production and conservation, 

Also, at all times it was endeavored to reflect the spirit, 
progress, and development of the rural United States, espe- 
cially in the direction of greater democracy, increased in- 
terest in co-operation, organization, and farmer representa- 
tion in national affairs, and the application of principles of 
the larger internationalism to the life and interests of the 
farmers of America. Principles and measures whereby the 
government is co-operating with and assisting the farmer 
were also discussed, explained, and their significance 
pointed out. 

The editor of this division, Mr. E. L. D. Seymour, sent 
out regular weekly letters on farm and crop conditions, 
Food Administration activities and achievements, and the 
fuel situation. Posters, administration bulletins, Depart- 
ment of Agriculture reports, and other illuminating pub- 
lications were sent in considerable quantity. 

With the generous co-operation of many trade and in- 
dustrial journals and organizations, we set forth the mani- 
fold activities of the various trades and industries in support 
of the war. The editors of many of the leading trade 
journals in the country became regular volunteer contribu- 
tors, giving us weekly or monthly reviews of the progress 
of war- work in their particular fields. These special news 


letters were sent to the foreign agents, together with a list 
of trade journals in each foreign country, asking our agents 
to try to place such special articles in special journals 

In the field of finance, we described the financial strength 
of this country, the good will of the people, and the evi- 
dence of democracy in the various financial measures 
carried out by the government. We used reports from the 
Treasury Department, and also statements issued by that 
department from time to time; fully described the various 
Liberty Loan drives in popular news articles, and we ob- 
tained from the editor of The American Bankers' Magazine, 
Mr. Elmer Youngman, weekly financial articles, which 
in many foreign countries our agents readily placed in the 
financial columns of the foreign press. We also obtained 
from time to time statements especially written for us by 
well-known bankers and economists in this country. 

From many angles the bureau established the warm 
support of the war by the labor elements in this country. 
Our editor, Mr. Norman Matson, used largely the reports 
and statements of government bodies dealing with labor, 
as well as those of the American Federation of Labor and 
various state and municipal bodies belonging to the feder- 
ation. We ran statements of prominent labor leaders, 
and published articles describing labor activities in ship- 
yards and other centers where war- work was carried on. 
We gave the workers' and the employers' sides, and showed 
the new relations and mutual understandings between 
employer and employed, which in many places were built 
up during the work of the war. 

As for religion, Mrs. Shinn of our staff (better known as 
Anne O'Hagan) showed the churches of all denominations 
rallying to the support of the war. We made it a special 
point to answer in Catholic countries abroad the German 
false allegations that in this country the Catholic Church 



was being persecuted by the government and was hostile 
to the war. We ran statements by prominent men both 
in the Catholic and Protestant churches, and also by leaders 
of the Jewish religion. We described war activities of the 
churches, and ran extracts from sermons setting forth the 
ideals and war aims of this nation. 

In medicine, we described both in popular and in more 
technical articles the activities of the medical profession 
in the war. Doctor Liber of our staff used largely the re- 
ports and statements from the Surgeon-General's office, also 
from the Red Cross, and from many non-government bodies 
having to do not only with strictly military work, but also 
with the public health. 

The press material of the bureau, beginning with a 
weekly service of about 30,000 words and running as high 
as 80,000 in English and 20,000 in Spanish, was sent 
regularly to 17 foreign commissioners of the Committee, 
to 22 diplomatic and consular representatives in Countries 
where there were no Committee commissioners, to 10 
United States citizens abroad co-operating as agents of 
the Committee, to the British ministry of labor, and to 18 
accredited correspondents in this country of foreign news- 
papers. Close touch was maintained with all these com- 
missioners and agents through letters sent out regularly 
once a week and through frequent cables. Advised through 
such correspondence of the openings in each country for 
articles along various lines, the service to each country 
became more and more specialized as the work continued. 
We were thus enabled, also, to serve as a clearing-house 
for methods of publicity that had been tried with success 
in each country, such as the distribution of quantities 
of small American flags, buttons carrying the flags of the 
United States and those of our allies, maps of Europe 
for window exhibition, showing the location of the American 
forces on the western front, sets of American band music, 



American newspapers, magazines, and books for the 
equipment of small reading-rooms in connection with our 
foreign offices. 

The extent to which our press material was printed in 
foreign newspapers and magazines week after week was 
remarkable, testifying at once to the new interest of the 
world in things American and to the ability with which 
this office was able to meet this demand with newspaper 
and magazine material prepared by a corps of experienced 
writers on our staff and by a large number of volunteers, 
who generously and repeatedly responded to our appeals 
for articles on special subjects. 



S in the United States, motion pictures played a 
great part in the work of the Foreign Section, rank- 
ing as a major activity. To millions unable to read, to lit- 
erate millions unreached by newspaper or magazine, to city 
audiences and village crowds, the screen carried the story 
of America, flashing the power of our army and navy, 
showing our natural resources, our industrial processes, 
our war spirit, and our national life. Our method of pres- 
entation was either to rent a theater outright, giving our 
own shows, or to rent the pictures themselves to exhibitors, 
although in many of the rural districts we put a projector 
on an automobile and traveled from village to village, 
delighting the rustic populace with "the wonders of 

War pictures, as a matter of course, gave the point to 
every program. A steady stream of wonderful "fighting 
stuff" was poured into our foreign channels, so that the 
eyes of the world followed America's war progress from the 
cantonment to the ship, from St. Nazaire to the firing-line, 
along the firing-line from Chateau-Thierry to the Argonne, 
and saw America's war preparations from the shipyard 
to the sea, from the factory to the great supply depots in 
France. Great feature-films like "Pershing's Crusaders" 
and "America's Answer" could stand alone, but the 
majority of "war stuff" had to be accompanied by con- 



trasting material. Not only this, but it was also the case 
that we wanted the world to see America "at home." 

In the first days, Jules E. Brulatour, a pioneer in the 
motion-picture industry, and one of its fine, inspiring 
figures, came to the Committee as a volunteer, and it was 
his job to collect "educational stuff," meaning every sort 
of a movie that would show American cities, factories, 
and farms, our social progress, our industrial life, and our 
adventures in altruism and humanity. He knew exactly 
which of the great manufacturing concerns "went in" 
for motion pictures, and straightway commenced a begging 
tour that took in Henry Ford, the United States Steel 
Corporation, the International Harvester Company, Water- 
man's Pen, the Corn Products Company, the lumber 
companies, coal companies, etc., until he had thou- 
sands of reels showing every phase of American industry. 
Then he went to the Bureau of Parks and got "nature 
stuff," to the Department of Agriculture for scientific 
farming pictures, to the Bureau of Education for "school 
stuff," to the Public Health Service for "sanitation stuff," 
and on down the line until he had everything that the 
government possessed in the way of an educational film. 
An arrangement with the film-news weeklies permitted 
us to comb their releases, and from them we bought 
footage that showed patriotic celebrations, women voting, 
Labor Day parades, seashore scenes, baby contests, stock 
shows, athletic games, and everything else that threw any 
light on us as a people. 

All of the manufacturers were generous in the extreme, 
giving us a full set of positives without debate, although 
Henry Ford led all others in princely donations that totaled 
thousands of dollars. The task of duplication was Mr. 
Brulatour's, also the hard, tedious job of putting the 
titles into the various languages. It was a remarkable 
task that Mr. Brulatour carried to success, although a very 






enthusiastic word must be said for Lieut. John Tuerk, 
borrowed from the army by reason of his wide experience 
in the motion-picture field. The old Kalem studio on 
West Twenty-third Street in New York was taken over, 
and hummed night and day with the rush of picture 
selection and picture shipping. 

Later, when the Foreign Section was fully organized, 
Mr. Hart's Division of Films became the source of supply, 
and Mr. Byoir was placed in charge of operations. As 
a result of these combined activities, the foreign commis- 
sioners were able to present a well-balanced program, 
starting out with pictures of an American city or some 
national park, following with typical American scenes, 
then showing schools, model farms, welfare work 'in fac- 
tories, a shipyard or munitions-factory, and then finishing 
strong with an American cantonment, the grand fleet, the 
arrival in France, and "over the top with the Yanks." 

All of which was very fine as far as it went, but upon 
investigation we found that it did not go far enough. 
What the war-weary foreigners liked and demanded was 
American comedy and dramatic film. They had to have 
their Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie 
Chaplin and Norma Talmadge. The Germans, either by 
outright purchase of picture-houses or else by subsidizing 
exhibitors, were largely in control in every neutral country, 
and used American entertainment film to put across their 
propaganda material. As a result, we stood to be left 
out in the cold. 

Looking around, we discovered that no film of any kind 
could be sent out of the United States without a license 
from the War Trade Board. Without waste of time, 
we saw Vance McCormick, the chairman, and secured 
from him a ruling to the effect that every application for 
a license must bear the indorsement of the Committee on 
Public Information. The rest was simple. 



Calling a meeting of all the film supporters, we explained 
the situation in detail, and while promising that the Com- 
mittee would use all of its influence to expedite film ship- 
ments, we demanded in return that the motion-picture 
industry should come to the aid of the Committee in equal 
degree. As a result of negotiations this arrangement was 
worked out: 

(1) That every shipment for entertainment film from the 
United States should contain at least 20 per cent, "educational 

(2) That not a single foot of American entertainment film 
would be sold to any exhibitor who refused to show the Commit- 
tee's war pictures. 

(3) That no American pictures of any kind would be sold to 
houses where any sort of German film was being used. 

This method shut the German film out of Sweden and 
Norway in a few weeks after the adoption. With respect 
to Switzerland and Holland, where the German control 
was virtually complete, the Committee adopted an even 
more drastic mode of procedure. It was asked of the lead- 
ing film-producers, and agreed to by them, that the repre- 
sentatives of the Committee should have the absolute and 
unquestioned disposition of every foot of commercial film 
that went into the two countries. As a consequence of 
this air-tight arrangement, Mrs. Whitehouse and Mr. 
Suydam were not only in possession of the Committee's 
war and educational pictures, but also had entire charge 
of every comedy and dramatic picture that went out from 
the shores of the United States. No motion-picture house 
could do business without our product, and it was very 
soon the case that the Germans were being run out of both 
fields. In Switzerland, where they held most tenaciously, 
the lid was falling relentlessly when the armistice came. 

In France, England, and Italy the initial showing of 



our picture films was always an event, the high officials 
of government attending formally, and even in the neutral 
countries we were able eventually to make our own pro- 
ductions on an impressive scale. Our most glittering 
success, perhaps, was in The Hague, where the police had 
to stop one performance of "America's Answer" owing to 
"the great pro- American demonstrations that it aroused." 
In Mexico, however, much the same result was achieved. 

As the work grew, and as the fight took on greater in- 
tensity, it became apparent that film experts would have 
to be despatched to aid the resident commissioners, also 
that we would have to install our own laboratories in 
certain countries and export our own raw material and 
equipment. The success of Guy Croswell Smith in Scandi- 
navia had shown that this should be the method. Coming 
out of Russia with Mr. Sisson in March, 1918, he took 
film charge of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark immediately. 

In furtherance of the general plan, H. C. Hoagland went 
to France, where he established intimate contact with the 
Signal Corps, enlarging laboratories, vitalizing procedure, 
and generally increasing and improving the output. He 
handled the Italian situation also, making arrangements 
in Rome for the national exhibition of American programs. 
Llewellyn R. Thomas, sent to The Hague, handled 306,000 
feet of dramatics, 52,000 feet of comedies, 12,000 feet of 
Committee war film, 92 reels of news pictures, and 200,000 
feet of raw stock. He operated fifty eight-reel programs, 
and his speed, ability, and enthusiasm dazzled the Dutch 
and routed the Germans. From the very outset our 
"movie" work in Russia was attended by every difficulty. 
The fall of Kerensky made Russian consignments a prob- 
lem, and to meet this situation we made arrangements with 
the Y. M. C. A. by which its representatives would carry 
film to the Committee's representatives in Petrograd and 
Moscow. In the fall of 1917 we assembled thousands of 

19 277 


reels, covering every field of American activity, and in- 
trusted them to A. C. Harte, who was proceeding to Russia 
for the Y. M. C. A. Through various unforeseen changes 
in Mr. Harte's plans, he turned back at Stockholm, and, as 
the Russian frontier was closed, our pictures continued 
to rest in Sweden. Another effort was made through the 
agency of Herman Bernstein, the war correspondent of 
The New York Herald, who took with him many cases of 
film, and who also agreed, if he found it possible, to pick 
up the shipment left in Stockholm by Mr. Harte. Mr. 
Bernstein's chance to get into Russia came suddenly and 
he had to travel without impediment of any kind; the films 
that he carried took their place in storage alongside of 
those left by Mr. Harte. 

As a consequence, Mr. Sisson and Mr. Bullard were 
compelled to rely entirely upon the small amount of film 
already possessed, and while they used it over and over 
again with remarkable results, there was always the sense 
of bitter disappointment. When the Bolsheviki finally 
threw pretense aside and came out as open enemies of 
America, the Committee changed its basis of operation 
from Moscow and Petrograd to Archangel and Vladivostok. 

To Vladivostok, the center of east Siberian motion- 
picture trade, the Committee sent carloads of equipment, 
including six-B cameragraphs, delco light plants, monoplane 
lamps, re winders, motors, etc., motion-picture film-printing 
machines, motion-picture rheostats, screens, etc. This 
permitted the installation of our laboratory with full 
titling facilities, and as a consequence the Committee was 
able to ship continuously and in quantity. As in other 
countries, arrangements were made with the commercial 
producers for exclusive rights, and feature dramas and 
comedies soon joined with the Committee's war and in- 
dustrial film for the presentation of well-balanced eight- 
reel programs. 



Charles Philip Norton and H. Y. Barnes handled the 
motion-picture campaign for Mr. Bullard, and under their 
direction the Committee showed pictures throughout 
Siberia. Not only were our programs presented in picture- 
houses, but through the co-operation of the Red Cross, 
the Young Men's Christian Association, and the Military 
and Naval Association we reached the firing-line, the 
churches, the rural communities, and other places where 
the Russian peasants assembled in any number. Read 
Lewis, the Committee's commissioner at Archangel, had 
been supplying one motion-picture theater in Archangel, 
and two in a suburb, with programs, and in conjunction 
with the Young Men's Christian Association was furnish- 
ing three reels of features and comedies and two reels of 
educationals. Harry P. Inman, ordered to Archangel to 
assist Mr. Lewis, carried with him a laboratory outfit for 
the manufacture and exhibition of motion pictures, also 
a large amount of negative and positive raw stock, 42 reels 
of feature dramas, 16 reels of good comedies, 26 reels of 
news weeklies, and all our official film, including "Pershing's 
Crusaders," "America's Answer," "Bridge of Ships," 
"Official War Review." Not the least of Mr. Inman's 
many successful undertakings was an arrangement with 
the educational department of the Russian Co-operative 
Unions (which is recognized by the present Archangel gov- 
ernment) for films to be released in towns within a two- 
hundred-mile radius of Archangel. Wilbur H. Hart, 
sent to China, found that distribution through established 
theaters was not feasible, inasmuch as less than 2 per cent, 
of their entire attendance was Chinese. In many of the 
principal theaters in Shanghai and in Pekin he presented 
the feature-films of the Committee with success and fol- 
lowed up with special presentations of various kinds in an 
effort to reach the purely Chinese population. Japan 
was comparatively simple, as we dealt with a well-estab- 



lished system of exchanges. E. L. Starr, the motion- 
picture expert despatched to South America, made a very 
complete survey and worked out a plan that gave maximum 
results. In Buenos Aires a theater was taken for official 
showing of the Committee's feature-films, after which a 
commercial arrangement was made with the leading dis- 
tributor in the Argentine. In Brazil the motion-picture 
industry was controlled almost entirely by the French 
and Italians, and Mr. Starr made arrangements for distri- 
bution through the American Embassy at Rio de Janeiro. 
Mr. Morgan, the Ambassador, gave the matter his personal 
supervision, and as a result it was not long before American 
films held highest place in the favor of the Brazilian people. 

In Peru the motion-picture theaters were found to be 
crude and unsatisfactory, the greater portion of the Peru- 
vian population being Indian and entirely illiterate. Rail- 
roads reached some of the more important mining and agri- 
cultural sections, but a vast amount of this territory was 
accessible only by burro through mountain trails. The 
distribution of motion pictures for Peru, Bolivia, and Ecua- 
dor, made through Lima, was based, therefore, on a system 
worked out by C. V. Griffis, commissioner of the Committee 
in Peru, head of the American Society, and editor of the 
only English weekly on the west coast. Mr. Griffis owed 
much to the assistance of Mr. Handley, American consul- 
general at Lima. 

Arrangements were made for the showing of the films 
in Peru through the Peru chapter of the American Red 
Cross in each of the cities and towns having a Red Cross 
branch. After this showing the films were turned over to 
the only important distributing corporation in the country, 
the Impreso de Teatros y Cinemas, Limitada, which 
agreed to play the films in every city and town having a 
cinema theater (26 towns and cities with a total of 34 
theaters). That gave us over a period of time a very 



efficient distribution. Bolivia had five towns in which 
we made the same arrangement as in Peru. Ecuador 
likewise had eight towns in which the same arrangement 
for distribution was effected. 

In Chile the official films of the Committee were turned 
over to Mr. Sevier, the Compub commissioner, and in 
the larger cities they were shown in conjunction with va- 
rious charities. In the American mining towns and camps 
the films were shown by the American Red Cross under the 
auspices of the local chapters, and at the completion of 
these showings the Southern Pacific Paramount Company 
released these pictures in two or three reel lengths, in 
every city and town and camp having a cinema theater. 

It was not only that the Committee put motion pictures 
into foreign countries. Just as important was the work 
of keeping certain motion pictures out of these countries. 
As a matter of bitter fact, much of the misconception 
about America before the war was due to American motion 
pictures portraying the lives and exploits of New York's 
gun-men, Western bandits, and wild days of the old frontier, 
all of which were accepted in many parts of the world as 
representative of American life. 

What we wanted to get into foreign countries were pict- 
ures that presented the wholesome life of America, giv- 
ing fair ideas of our people and our institutions. What 
we wanted to keep out of world circulation were the "thrill- 
ers," that gave entirely false impressions of American 
life and morals. Film dramas portraying the exploits 
of "Gyp the Blood," or "Jesse James," were bound to 
prejudice our figbt for the good opinion of neutral nations. 

Our arrangements with the War Trade Board gave us 
power and we exercised it. Under the direction of Lieu- 
tenant Tuerk, offices were opened in New York, and when 
applications for export licenses were made the pictures 
themselves were examined by competent committees in 



which tne army, the navy, and the customs were equally 
represented. As the motion-picture industry commenced 
to understand our purpose and realized that we stood 
ready to expedite all proper licenses, as well as to make 
the fight for shipping space, the co-operation became 
enthusiastic. Not only was it the case that all harmful 
film was barred from export, but producers became more 
and more willing to incorporate a large percentage of 
"educational pictures" in their shipments. "Educa- 
tional" in our sense of the word meant film that showed 
our schools, our industrial life, our war preparations, our 
natural resources, and our social progress. 

The spirit of co-operation reduced the element of friction 
to a minimum. Oftentimes it was the case that a picture 
could be made helpful by a change in title or the elimi- 
nation of a scene, and in no instance did a producer fail 
to make the alterations suggested. During its existence, 
according to the report of Lieutenant Tuerk, more than 
eight thousand motion pictures were reviewed, the greater 
percentage of which went forward into foreign countries 
with the true message from America. 


fTlHE Germans were not whipped by man-power alone. 
JL No grain of credit is to be taken away from the 
courage of the Allies or the heroic, decisive charges of the 
Americans at Chateau-Thierry, St. Mihiel, and -Belleau 
Wood, but there are certain facts that prove the impor- 
tance of other compulsions than major force. 

On the day that the Germans signed the armistice, 
accepting defeat as overwhelming as their ambitions had 
been colossal they had two million men under arms on 
the western front alone. This army was well equipped 
with supplies and munitions, and behind it still stretched 
line after line almost impregnable by reason of natural 
strength and military science. Not one inch of German 
territory knew the feet of an invading force, and to the 
east there were the armies of Mackensen and von Sanders. 
Nothing is more apparent than that a defensive warfare 
could have been waged for months, taking a tremendous toll 
in Allied and American lives. In 1870, even after Sedan, 
without an army, food, or munitions, the French fought on, 
Paris standing a siege of six months. 

What happened to the Germans was an utter spiritual 
collapse, a disintegration of morale both on the firing-line 
and among the civilian population. Slowly at first, but 
always more swiftly, the truth made its way into Germany, 
sapping a foundation of lies laid carefully through long 
years. People and fighting-men alike commenced to feel 



the loathing of the world, came to understand the might 
arrayed against them, the inevitability of defeat, and when 
French, English, Italians, Serbians, and Americans began 
to deal the sledge-hammer blows directed by Foch, appre- 
hension turned to certainty, fear became panic, and the 
whole rotten structure went tumbling into ruins. 

Getting the truth into Germany and Austria-Hungary 
was as hard a battle as any fought in France. A censor- 
ship cunningly conceived and rigidly enforced not only 
guarded the frontiers, but crushed every internal attempt 
to speak or write honestly. Soldiers and civilians were 
drugged with lies about "Germany's defensive war," 
the "cruel purposes" of the enemy, the collapse of the 
Allies, the utter inability of America to train or transport 
troops, and the near approach of a tremendous victory 
that would mean world mastery. 

These lies had all the force of divisions and it was as 
necessary to destroy them as though each had been a 
machine-gun nest. The Committee fought the German 
censorship on every front, attacking from France, Italy, 
Greece, Russia, and from such border nations as Switzer- 
land, Holland, and Denmark. From the very first, the 
Paris office of the Committee worked in close co-operation 
with the French department of enemy propaganda. Mr. 
Kerney, our commissioner, was assisted by Lieut. Harry 
A. Franck of the Intelligence Section of the A. E. F., 
an officer with intimate knowledge of the German language 
and the German people. 

As the importance of the work came to be recognized 
many efforts were made to bring about a single command 
so that resources might be pooled and confusion avoided. 
The Committee was at all times eager for co-operation and 
designated Mr. James Keeley, editor of The Chicago Herald, 
as our representative in the various conferences called by 
Lord Northcliffe and participated in by all the Allied 



Powers. Aside from a very valuable exchange of ideas, 
nothing ever came of these efforts and the Committee 
continued to go its own way, working hand in hand with 
the Intelligence Section of the A. E. F. An office was 
opened in Padua for an attack upon the morale of Austria, 
and from France and Italy we managed to maintain a 
reasonable flow of American facts into the Central Powers. 
German and Austrian newspapers were carefully studied 
and their misrepresentations met with leaflets. 

As the American Expeditionary Force grew in size and 
power it became increasingly apparent that American 
propaganda was the best wedge to drive it to the German 
censorship. The French bureau was reorganized and Com- 
mandant Chaix, a thoroughgoing business man, placed 
at its head with full power to work intimately with the 
Paris office of the Committee. A most efficient equip- 
ment was assembled, and documents were given a genuine 
German appearance as to paper, type, typesetting, and the 
fine points of German diction. The printers were German 
prisoners chosen for this particular task. For the troops, 
special matter was prepared according to nationalities. 
The military authorities, as soon as they noted the presence 
in certain trenches of Jugoslav, Polish, or other elements, 
or of German troops from disaffected districts, at once 
conveyed the information to the end that material specially 
designed to appeal to these respective forces might be 

While it was easy enough to write and print the "shrap- 
nel," it was always difficult to determine the most effective 
way to fire it. The most obvious method of distribution 
was by airplanes, of course, and over firing-lines, towns, 
and cities the sky rained single sheets that told the truth 
in short, sharp sentences. But the demand was so great 
for 'planes for the more imperative purposes of war that 
they could not be obtained in sufficient numbers for prop- 



aganda use and other and additional means of distri- 
bution had to be found. 

The French introduced a rifle grenade that carried 
leaflets about six hundred feet in a favoring wind, and a 
75-shell that carried four or five miles. The British 
developed a six-inch gun that carried ten or twelve miles 
and scattered several thousand leaflets from each shell. 
The Italians used rockets for close work on the front, each 
rocket carrying forty or fifty leaflets. The obvious smash 
at German morale was through America's aims and swift 
war progress, and for this reason the Allies used the Presi- 
dent's speeches and our military facts freely and some- 
times even exclusively. 

To reach farther behind the lines, all fronts used paper 
balloons filled with coal-gas. They would remain in the 
air a minimum of twenty hours, so as to make a trip of 
six hundred miles in a thirty-mile wind. On a Belgian 
fete-day such balloons carried four hundred thousand 
greetings into Belgium, and some flew clear across Belgium. 
Fabric balloons, carrying seventeen or eighteen pounds of 
leaflets, were also employed, but with all the balloons the 
uncertainty of the wind made the work haphazard. A 
paper balloon, with propaganda intended for Alsace, came 
down in Kent, and a French balloon intended to reach 
the Rhine towns came down in Geneva. 

The attempt was made to fly kites over the trenches 
and drop leaflets from traveling containers that were run 
up the kite wire, but this method could be used only on 
fronts where airplanes were not active, because the wires 
were a menace to the 'planes. The paper used in the 
leaflets was chemically treated so that they would not 
spoil if they lay out in the rain. 

An American invention that gave promise of supplant- 
ing all others was a balloon that carried a tin container 
holding about ten thousand sheets. The Committee on 



Public Information carried the inventor and his idea to 
the War Department, and provided the money for tests 
and experimentation that proved encouragingly successful, 
but the armistice prevented full firing-line use. A clock 
attachment governed the climb of the balloon, it had a 
sailing range of from six to eight hundred miles, and the 
mechanism could be set in such a manner as to have the 
pamphlets dropped in a bunch or one at a time at regular 
intervals, the whole business blowing up conclusively with 
the descent of the last printed "bullet." 

At the end of June and during early July, when some 
of the German newspapers began to wake up to the fact 
that there really was more than a million American troops 
in France and that they were fighters, there appeared 
articles, indicating war-weariness and hints that all might 
not be going so well on the western front. This material 
was quickly reproduced in Paris and spread among the 
German troops. It was along in July that the first genuine 
effects of the enemy propaganda were felt. On July 18, 
1918, a conference of heads of the British, French, Belgian, 
and American services was held in the Paris office of the 
Committee on Public Information. It was the frank 
consensus of opinion that the place for concentrated 
effective work was in front of the American lines, then 
shortly to be very greatly extended. General Nolan, 
Major James, and Capt. Mark Watson of the Intelli- 
gence Section, A. E. F., attended the conference, and soon 
thereafter a special group of experts, under the immediate 
direction of Major James, took over the American end 
of the work. 

All this was on the western front. In the East, up to 
the Brest-Litovsk treaty, the problem was merely one of 
printing and distribution, and with due appreciation of 
the Bolshevik surrender that was on the way, we strove 
mightily during the days of opportunity. Edgar G. 



Sisson and Arthur Bullard, in charge of the Committee's 
educational work in Russia, put the speeches of President 
Wilson into German and into Magyar (the latter for Hun- 
garians) and secured distribution from Russia across the 
line into the enemy's country by the hundreds of thousands. 
Even when the Germans advanced into Russia they found 
the walls of the towns freshly plastered with the President's 
Fourteen Points speech, printed in German for the infor- 
mation of the German soldiers. 

The preparation of the material, no matter what the 
front, followed a set plan. At first all time and space 
was devoted to the causes that drove the United States 
to war the brutal purposes of Germany, her plots and 
intrigues, her record of bloody cruelty the absolute dis- 
interestedness of America, and the great truth that the 
free world we fought for was a victory in which the wretched 
victims of the Prussian military machine would be permitted 
to share. The second step was to preach the doctrine of 
American achievement; the selective service law, the mir- 
acle of cantonments and training-schools, the building 
of ships and 'planes, the rush of men across the sea, the 
mighty resources of America, and the inevitability of 
German defeat and of Allied victory. 

And always the speeches of President Wilson! They 
were our most effective weapons and it was easy to mark 
their progress through the enemy country by the trail 
of ferment and disaffection that each one left. Never at 
any time did the German censorship dare to kill a Wilson 
speech outright, but the first addresses were invariably 
cut in such manner as to distort and misrepresent the mean- 
ing. What we did was to have the entire speech printed 
in German, playing up all deleted words and passages, 
and then, with the varied devices, begin to pound in upon 
the German people the new deceits practised upon them 
by their government. It was this backfire that compelled 



the Germans eventually to publish the President's addresses 
in their entirety. 

The first proof of effectiveness was an order issued by 
the German General Staff establishing death as a penalty for 
all those seen picking up our matter or found with it in 
their possession. And even before this Austria-Hungary 
had given orders to shoot or imprison all soldiers or citizens 
guilty of the abominable crime of reading "printed lies" 
against the government. 

Accounts of trials and cruel sentences contained in 
Austrian papers proved conclusively that there was no 
"bluff" about it as far as the Dual Monarchy was con- 
cerned; but it is very questionable whether the Germans 
went very far in enforcement of the orders. Eight prison- 
ers out of every ten captured by the Americans had our 
"stuff" in their pockets, and reports united in declaring 
the literature "well thumbed." 

A medium of attack wider in effect, even if less direct, 
was through the press of Switzerland, Denmark, and Hol- 
land. Through methods that will be described later, 
the public opinion of these countries was won for America, 
and our material was given daily place in the newspapers. 
It was under this strain that the German censorship began 
to crack, breaking at last with a loud report, and letting 
in daylight with a rush. 



XTATURALLY enough, the Allied countries were 
JL 11 first consideration in the matter of intensive activi- 
ties, for the maintenance of French, English, and Italian 
morale was of the supremest importance. It was not that 
either soldiers or civilians lacked courage or were lessening 
in determination, but war-weariness had sapped ardor 
and enthusiasm, and there was the ever-present conscious- 
ness that the enemy advanced in spite of every resistance. 
"Can America come in time?" This was a question in 
every heart, if not on every lip, and the Germans answered 
it by sneering assertions that America had neither troops, 
transports, nor munitions. It was the job of the Committee 
to answer this lie by daily report on America's war 
progress, so that on every firing-line, and back of them, there 
might be understanding of the invincibility of the United 
States, the speed of its preparations, and the certainty 
of swift and decisive aid. 

France was not only of peculiar importance in itself, 
but Paris was the clearing-house for our cable and wireless 
service, the center from which Switzerland, Italy, Spain, 
and Portugal drew direct information. To this impor- 
tant post we sent James Kerney, editor of The Trenton 
Evening Times, a choice for which I was blamed no little 
in the first days. Mr. Kerney did not know Europe, 
did not speak French, and had no familiarity with diplo- 
matic usage, and these lacks were assumed to unfit him 





for the task in hand. As a matter of fact, these supposed 
qualifications were always of minor importance in our 
calculations. We did not want a commissioner who had 
the European point of view, or one who fancied himself 
a diplomat, but we wanted an American who thought 
regularly and enthusiastically in terms of America and who 
would worry over his job, not over his dignity. That was 
why we selected "Jim" Kerney, a first-class newspaper 
man, a dynamo of energy and originality, an enthusiast 
with an unfailing supply of optimism, and, above all, a 
real American. Not only did he fulfil every hope in the 
discharge of his duties, but, humorously enough, the French 
took him to their hearts at once, and he enjoyed a popular- 
ity that was never attained by the careful, precise gentlemen 
who "knew Europe, spoke French, and were familiar with 
diplomatic usage." 

i At the very outset Mr. Kerney established close work- 
ing relations with Ambassador Sharp, General Pershing, 
and Admiral Wilson, linked up with the Maison de la 
Presse, the French propaganda bureau, and gained inti- 
mate contacts with the editors of the provincial press 
as well as the great Paris dailies. It was soon the case 
that the French press and reviews were filled with American 
news, and a smooth-running machinery took care of the 
relay of the wireless service to Berne, Rome, Madrid, 
and Lisbon. 

A next step was "American front stuff," not the usual 
communiqu6 9 but live news stories, day by day, that would 
give the Allies and the neutral nations a vivid understand- 
ing of how the Yankees were massing, preparing, and fight- 
ing. Martin Egan, at General Pershing's headquarters, 
was of invaluable aid in putting across the plan, and before 
long this service was in operation, Maximilian Foster 
roaming the fighting front, his author's eye quick to see. 
his artist's hand keen to write. 



Not only were there American objections to overcome, 
but there was the French censorship itself that the new 
firing-line service had to buck up against. Mr. Kerney 
saw Premier Clemenceau personally, and as a result the 
rules were modified in such manner as to permit free 
relation of the wonderful story of "America in France." 
The Foster communiques, as they came to be called, were 
not only added to the Committee's news service for Europe, 
but became an integral part of the world service as well, 
doing their work in South America and the Orient as well 
as in Holland and Scandinavia. 

As a further use for the Committee's wireless service, 
Mr. Kerney relayed it by telegraph to American head- 
quarters and the various American bases in France for 
the information of the A. E. F., and also put it in the offices 
of the Paris editions of The London Daily Mail, The New 
York Herald, The Chicago Tribune, and The Stars and Stripes. 
As a matter of fact, the bulk of the American news that 
appeared in these papers was furnished by the Committee 
on Public Information, and certainly it was the principal 
source of the "home news" that meant so much to the 
individual doughboy. 

As in the case of so many other foreign commissioners, 
Mr. Kerney was hurried to Paris with instructions to find 
his force "on the ground," for even had there been time 
for the selection of assistance, there was the objection 
that he could not know what personnel he needed until 
he found out exactly what it was that he had to do. The 
building of his organization is not only a matter of interest 
in itself, but it may give some idea of how the Committee, 
driving always at top speed, was forced to rely upon its 
representatives and to trust to good fortune in the secure- 
ment of expert assistance. 

One of Mr. Kerney 's first acquisitions was Madame 
Edith Bagues, the American wife of a distinguished French 



officer, who entered the Committee's office to serve as 
executive secretary. Speaking French like a native, 
knowing France intimately, and blessed with brains as 
well as beauty, Madame Bagues was a voice, a right hand, 
a rudder, and an inspiration. Frank M. Mansfield and 
A. Brace, two competent American newspaper men, were 
located and put in charge of the wireless service, Wilmot 
H. Lewis, a cosmopolitan correspondent, handled all con- 
tacts with the French press, and two clever French journal- 
ists, M. Claude Berton and M. Beryl, were assigned to the 
task of translation. James Hazen Hyde, long resident 
in Paris, was finding Red Cross work an insufficient out- 
let for his eager patriotism and tremendous energies, and 
Mr. Kerney soon captured him. It can safely be said 
that Mr. Hyde knew everybody in France who was worth 
knowing, and he put his time entirely at the service of 
the Committee, rendering aid of inestimable value. 
Marquise de Polignac, formerly Mrs. "Jimmy" Eustis 
of New York, was another American that Mr. Kerney 
pressed into service, and Marquis de Polignac himself was 
also used vigorously in the work of distributing specially 
prepared leaflets to the peasants of France. 

Maj. A. L. James, Jr., chief of the press and censorship 
division of the Intelligence Section, took offices immediately 
adjoining those of the Committee, and in addition Mr. 
Kerney won to close and understanding contact with 
Gen. Dennis E. Nolan, chief of the Intelligence Section, 
and with Gen, Edgar E. Russel, chief of the Signal 
Corps. Whether it was in connection with pictures, the 
relay of news, or getting our matter in the German terri- 
tory, these officers never failed to put men and facilities at 
Mr. Kerney's disposal. 

Edgar B. Hatrick, a film expert in France in the interests 
of the Red Cross, was taken over by Mr. Kerney, and not 
only planned productions, but organized channels for the 

20 *93 


flow of pictures from the Signal Corps to the Committee. 
In order to save time, all firing-line photographs were sent 
to the European offices of the Committee directly from 
Paris, going out in weekly shipments. Under the direction 
of Mr. Hatrick, a great feature-film was assembled under 
the title of "America's Answer to the Hun," and the 
Gaumont Palace in Paris was rented for a presentation. 
It was witnessed by the members of the Senate and Cham- 
ber of Deputies, the diplomatic representatives of Great 
Britain, Italy, and Japan, as well as many of the Allied 
military and naval chiefs, and was given a mighty reception. 
This film in four reels depicted the protection afforded by 
the American navy to transports, disembarking of troops, 
our construction and installations at ports and along the 
lines of communication right up to the fighting front, the 
ambulance and supply services. It concluded with a num- 
ber of scenes showing the American fighters in action at 
Chateau-Thierry, and one section of the theater was re- 
served for wounded doughboys from the hospitals in and 
about Paris. Columns of space were devoted to the 
event in the newspapers of France and England, and copies 
of the film were promptly sent to all the Allied and neutral 
countries for showing there. The big commercial pro- 
ducers, Gaumont and Pathe, arranged at once to send it 
into all their houses in France, and it was used most suc- 
cessfully among the troops, in factories, universities, 
schools, etc. 

This feature-film, brought to the United States, was 
enriched with the cantonment scenes and pictures of the 
shipyards and the navy, and released under the title of 
"America's Answer." 

One of the most enduring features of Mr. Kerney's 
work was a system of university and university extension 
lectures. Shortly after his arrival he met the presidents 
of all the French universities and presented to them a plan 



aimed at combating the wide-spread anti-American propa- 
ganda throughout France, by making known the spirit 
and extent of America's part in the war. These lectures 
were further framed to put the story of America's greatness, 
in some permanent form, into the minds of the local 
leaders of thought, as well as into the minds of the people. 
The Committee was able to get into personal touch with 
more than two hundred qualified lecturers, furnishing 
them with literature and documents, as well as lantern 
slides, with the result that practically every part of France 
was reached. The presidents of the universities gave 
their heartiest co-operation, and one hundred and fifty 
thousand copies of a pamphlet containing a summari- 
zation of American information were distributed to the 
school-teachers. The university presidents, together with 
the Ministry of Public Instruction, agreed upon M. Firman 
Roz of the University of Paris as a man most eminently 
fitted to inaugurate the American lectures. M. Roz, 
together with some other university representatives and 
writers, was taken over the American lines of communi- 
cation and supplies, as well as to the front lines. The 
series of lectures began at the Sorbonne, M. Lucien Poin- 
care, brother of the President of the Republic, presiding, 
and immediately after this initial lecture M. Firman Roz 
began his tour of the universities, speaking at Bordeaux, 
Toulouse, Montpellier, Marseilles, Grenoble, Chambery, 
Lyons, Dijon, Besangon, Caen, Rennes, Poitiers, and 
Clermont-Ferrand . 

These lectures gave America much publicity in the 
provincial press and had an especially good influence on 
the editorial columns. The presidents of the respective 
universities had invited to the lectures leading professors 
from each town in the educational district under the control 
of the university. In this way the university extension 
lectures were developed, the local professors organizing 



lecture centers. A complete list of these lecturers was kept 
in Paris and fresh literature, giving the latest information 
about America, regularly mailed to them. Local lectures 
were also given in many of the big provincial towns, the 
Committee receiving fine co-operation on the part of Amer- 
ican consular representatives. Through the consulates 
everywhere printed matter was distributed, and in the 
larger centers, such as Havre, Cherbourg, Marseilles, 
Nantes, Tours, St. Nazaire, Lyons, Boulogne, Franco- 
American demonstrations, including lectures and pro- 
duction of movie films, were provided. 

At the urgent request of the French Minister of Muni- 
tions, lectures on the American participation in the war 
were given in the various industrial plants in France 
engaged in manufacturing war-supplies, the purpose being 
to stem the unrest constantly cropping up. These lect- 
ures were given by Dr. Herbert Adams Gibbons, the 
American writer who had been in France since before the 
outbreak of the war, and who gladly turned his time and 
abilities over to Mr. Kerney. Both the French govern- 
ment officials and the manufacturers pronounced this work 
as highly valuable in its effect on the industrial situation. 
The proprietors and managers of the big steel and muni- 
tions plants were brought together in Paris on July 5th, the 
meeting being presided over by M. Loucher, Minister of 
Munitions, who dwelt upon the importance of the lect- 
ure and cinematographic work of the Committee in France. 

Doctor Gibbons's first lecture in this unique course was 
at the factory of Louis Renault, where airplane motors, 
motor-trucks, tanks, cannon, and shells were being pro- 
duced. The lecture was given twice in this plant, being 
recorded both stenographically and on the phonograph 
in order that it might get the most complete distribution 
among the twenty-five thousand employees. M. Renault 
subsequently declared that this exposition of America's 



part insured his plant against any labor disturbances for 
at least six months. The film was shown and the lecture 
given in all of the large plants engaged in the manufacture 
of war materials throughout France. Upward of one 
hundred thousand copies of the lecture were printed at 
the expense of the manufacturers for distribution among 
their employees. 

On the invitation of the official French Propaganda 
Bureau, Doctor Gibbons spent several days lecturing in 
the mining country and, at the instance of the same or- 
ganization, went for ten days into Alsace, explaining the 
American situation to the populations of the reconquered 
regions and, in turn, explaining the Alsatian question to 
the American troops occupying sectors on that front. 

At our suggestion, Mr. Kerney established a "visitors' 
bureau" for the purpose of taking American correspondents 
on trips to the various fighting fronts, and Mr. Kerney 
soon broadened this original purpose by invitations to 
the correspondents of every country. 

Leading writers for the French dailies, magazines, and re- 
views, with illustrators, were taken to the American front, 
and the publications were soon crowded with the remark- 
able accomplishments of our army and navy. This liberal 
treatment of the work continued until accounts of the glori- 
ous conduct of the troops at the fighting front produced 
the finest propaganda that ever appeared in any country. 
Writers from Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Holland, and the 
Scandinavian countries were brought to France and shown 
over the sectors in which the Americans were operating, 
and the reports they published were exceedingly useful 
in their effect not only in their home countries, but upon 
the civilian morale of Germany. This was particularly 
the case with the publication of American news in Switzer- 
land, which occupied the most advantageous position in 
the matter of enemy propaganda. Photographs of the 



American work and of the American fighters were supplied 
in great quantities, through the Signal Corps of the army, 
and were likewise despatched weekly to the Committee's 
representatives all over Europe, with the result that Amer- 
ican pictures and American news filled the reviews and 
journals everywhere. 

The English situation was never very bothersome, coming 
to be handled almost as a matter of routine. The great 
London dailies maintained correspondents in New York 
and Washington, and in addition to this the British gov- 
ernment made it a practice to invite groups of prominent 
Americans for English tours. While the purpose, of course, 
was to have England's story brought back to the United 
States in the interests of better understanding, it was 
equally the case that these Americans put the facts of our 
own accomplishments before the people of England. 

Mr. Harry N. Rickey, formerly head of the Newspaper 
Enterprise Association, was our first London representative, 
opening the office and remaining until called back to the 
United States to assist in the direction of the Foreign 
Section. By reason of his ability, experience, and person- 
ality, Mr. Rickey put the work on firm foundations. 
He was succeeded by Charles Edward Russell, who gave 
most of his time to public speaking, while his son, John 
Russell, looked after the office routine. Mr. Russell was 
too valuable in the speaking field to be kept on a single 
job for any length of time, and he was soon moved to 
France and Italy, where he put the motives and purposes 
of America before the workers of the two countries. Paul 
Perry followed Mr. Russell as head of the London office, 
serving with distinction to the end. 

Had the English situation presented any real problem, 
as in the case of other countries, the way of the Committee 
would have been difficult. Lord Northcliffe was in charge 
of enemy propaganda, there was a press bureau under the 



direction of Sir Frederick Cook and Sir Frederick Swetten- 
han, the Foreign Office held certain propaganda functions 
and claimed a right of general control, Wellington House 
prepared and distributed pamphlets, Sir William Jury had 
a motion-picture organization of his own, and the Board 
of Naval Control possessed censorship powers that were 
autocratic and varied. Intelligent co-operation was an 
impossibility and the many changes in personnel, the end- 
less jealousies, the continuous connection between authori- 
ties, oftentimes resulted in confusion and failure. For 
the most part, therefore, we used England as a clearing- 
house, avoiding as far as possible any contact with the pull 
and haul of the various organizations. 

Italy, on the other hand, was a distinct problem, for 
German propaganda not only poured in from the outside, 
but worked with equal vigor from the inside. On looking 
the field over for a fit representative, we learned that 
Prof. Charles E. Merriam of the University of Chicago 
was a captain in the army and engaged in some compara- 
tively unimportant work in one of the Southern camps. 
Here was not only a professor and economist and a sociolo- 
gist, but also a man with a wide and varied experience in 
public life, and by personal appeal to Secretary Baker 
the army was induced to lend him to us. 

Just as we were fortunate in securing Captain Merriam, 
so was he fortunate in finding John Hearley, in Rome. 
Aside from his very remarkable natural ability, Mr. Hearley 
had served as Italian correspondent for the United Press 
and at the time of Captain Merriam's arrival was operat- 
ing an American news bureau under the direction of Am- 
bassador Page. Due to the energy and vision of these 
two men, thirteen thousand cities and towns in Italy were 
brought to thorough understanding of America and the 
army itself was fired to the old hope, the old enthusiasm. 

Lieut. Walter Wanger was borrowed from the American 



air service to act as liaison officer with the Italian army, 
Miss Gertrude Barr, an American of rare executive capacity, 
was drafted as executive secretary, and Capt. Piero Tozzi 
and Lieut. Albert Peccorini of the Italian army came into 
the office to serve as expert advisers. Miss Alice Rohe, 
the well-known writer, was another valuable volunteer by 
reason of her intimate knowledge of Italy, and others who 
gave time and effort unflaggingly were Kingsley Moses, 
E. Q. Cordner, and Byron M. Nester. 

Mr. Hearley, assisted by Kenneth Durant, sent over 
from the Washington office for this particular purpose, 
gave first attention to the news service. By arrangement 
with the Agenzia Stefani, Italy's largest press association, 
every paper in Italy received the Committee's daily cable 
and wireless service, and in addition to this a daily news 
bulletin was printed for direct distribution in military, 
journalistic, educational, and governmental circles. The 
Poole service was turned over to Miss Rohe and Mr. 
Moses, who prepared illustrated feature articles for the 
daily press and the periodical press. The people of Italy 
were almost childishly eager for American news, and both 
services were enthusiastic and given columns in every 

At the suggestion of Captain Merriam, the Committee 
made a selection in the United States of certain men cal- 
culated to have influence in Italy,and among those sent over 
were Dr. Rudolph Altrocchi from the Chicago University, 
Senator Salvatore Cotillo of the New York State legislature, 
Judge Ben B. Lindsey, and Arthur Bennington, the Italian 
authority of The New York World. It was also our good 
fortune to secure Captain Fiorello from the army, as he 
proved a forceful and convincing speaker. Judge Cravates, 
United States judge at Cairo, was also brought to Italy, 
and from native sources Captain Merriam gained the 
assistance of Agostino d'Isernia, Doctor Professor Satorio, 



Doctor Professor Penunzio, Signor Poggiolini, and the 
thirteen-year-old Alberto Gelpi. Besides, Professoressa 
Gugliesmina Ronconi, a prominent Italian social worker, 
and her several associates were attached to this department. 
These concerned themselves with the women workers, 
peasant women, and school-children, holding frequent 
morale and educational conferences or discussions for them 
in popular halls, workshops, and farm centers. 

Whenever possible, American moving pictures or lantern 
slides were used to illustrate all these discourses. 

The native speakers did a splendid work, but Italian 
enthusiasm was reserved for those who came to them from 
the United States. The cities and towns turned out en 
masse to hear them, and in many of the villages the people 
drew the carriage through the streets and rained flowers 
on the flattered occupant. 

Mr. Hoagland, proceeding to Italy from France, estab- 
lished a laboratory and worked with Lieutenant Wanger 
and Mr. Cordner in the building of the machinery that 
carried the Committee's pictures to every corner of the 

The perfected films with Italian captions were shown 
to both military and civilian populations, at the front 
and behind the lines, aid being received from private and 
public agencies, such as Italian cinema houses, patriotic 
associations, schools, Italian offices of naval and military 
propaganda, the American Young Men's Christian Associ- 

Once a week the Committee supplied the Inter-Allied 
Weekly, a war-time Pathe of the Italian government, 
with appropriate American film material for display in 
theaters throughout Italy. 

More peculiarly than any other people, the Italians loved 
picture-cards and little gimcracks of all kinds, and under 
Mr. Nester's direction the Committee distributed 4,500,500 



post-cards bearing American war pictures; American flag 
bow-pins, Italo-American ribbons and buttons, 154,854; 
President Wilson posters, 68,574; assorted American 
war posters, 66,640; American flags in paper, 200,000; 
American flags in cloth, 30; sheet music, "The Star-spangled 
Banner," 33,300; booklets containing extracts from Presi- 
dent Wilson's speeches, 326,650; pamphlets containing 
American war statistics and other information, 364,235; 
United States maps, 200; President Wilson photographs, 
500; President Wilson engravings, 35. 

Reprints from American photographic displays were 
exhibited in three thousand Italian towns and cities. In 
some form or other American educational information 
was disseminated through sixteen thousand towns and cities 
of Italy by this department alone. 



MR. ROBERT H. MURRAY, for years the corre- 
spondent of The New York World in the City of 
Mexico, and a man of proved ability, courage, and honor, 
was selected to have charge of the Committee's activities 
in Mexico. His report is given in full, not only that Mr. 
Murray's own achievement may be estimated, but because 
" is clear, concise chronicle will permit readers to under- 
stand the nature of the work done by all foreign commis- 
sioners, thereby obviating the necessity of complete re- 
ports in every case. 

In the beginning, elements confronted the Mexico Section 
which rendered its task peculiarly difficult and, to a certain 
extent, unique. With the possible exception of Spain, in no 
other country outside of Mexico did the German propaganda 
attain such vigor and proportion, and nowhere was it waged 
with more determination and vicious mendacity. Events and 
conditions, which it is unnecessary to recapitulate, had caused 
the people and the government of Mexico to become highly 
responsive to overt or covert propaganda directed against the 
United States and in favor of Germany. The people, espe- 
cially the masses, reacted favorably almost to a unit to the 
specious and insidious endeavors of the Germans to deceive 
them into believing that the triumph of the arms of the United 
States spelled menace and disaster to Mexico, and that a German 
victory would insure for them and their country every manner 

of political and economic benefit. 



Thus the German propaganda thrived upon fruitful soil. 
It appealed to a ready-made, receptively sympathetic audience. 
Nevertheless, as the writer prophesied early in February, 1918, 
in a resume of the Mexican situation which he furnished to 
Chairman Creel, the German propaganda up to that time had 
not been successful in creating anything substantial or lasting 
commensurate with the effort and money expended. Nor did it 
later. This was proved when, as a result of the defeat of the 
German military power, the German propaganda in Mexico 
collapsed almost overnight, leaving nothing save a faint and 
rapidly disappearing impression upon the Mexican public to show 
for the expenditure of more than four years' time and intensive 
effort and at least 10,000,000 marks in German money. The 
German propaganda failed in Mexico, as elsewhere, because, 
as a writer in The Journal of the American Chamber in Mexico 
expressed it in the November number of that publication: 

"It is, and always has been, a propaganda of lies. Because it 
deals exclusively in lies. Because it is composed of lies. Because 
it is organized and managed by arch liars who work with intent 
to lie and to deceive. But the German propaganda has failed 
principally because, in the long run, truth will beat lies every time." 

Whatever success the Mexico Section attained may be at- 
tributed, in the main, to the fact that it dealt from the begin- 
ning to the end exclusively in truth. Its sole mission in Mexico 
was to tell the Mexicans the truth, not only about the United 
States, why it went to war, what it was doing in the war, and 
what the real attitude of the people and of the government of 
the United States was toward Mexico, but also what German 
militarism actually stood for, what the conduct of German 
statesmen, soldiers, and sailors had been in the war, and what 
were the sinister aims of the Kaiser and his accomplices toward 
democracy and free governments of free peoples. 

The fight to win Mexico, or at least to obtain for the com- 
mon cause an adequate hearing before the Mexican people, 
was essentially our fight. And this quite regardless of what- 
ever interest any other nation embattled against the Germans 
might have held in the way of impressing their cause and their 
point of view upon the Mexicans. That the Mexican fight was 
our fight became apparent from the fact that it was only from 
the day we declared war that the German propaganda in Mexico 
really began to flourish. The Germans were cunning enough 





immediately thereafter to play upon the anti-American string. 
That was their best asset in Mexico, and they omitted no effort 
or expense to capitalize and profit by it. 

This had been going on for almost a year when the Mexico 
Section was created. The Germans had organized well. For 
the most part, their propaganda was financed by loans made 
to the German Minister in Mexico by wealthy German com- 
mercial houses and individuals. These provided the Minister 
with unlimited funds in Mexican currency with which to corrupt 
public sentiment in Mexico, and which they loaned upon drafts 
upon the German government. In passing, it may be said that 
none of these drafts has yet been paid. No source of revenue 
of this nature was available to the Mexico Section. The only 
financial support, with one exception, which this office received 
from American nationals was indirect. It came through news- 
paper advertising from American business houses, which was 
provided for the support and encouragement of legitimate news- 
papers who championed the cause of the United States and of the 
Allies. This movement, although it was originated before the 
Mexico Section came into being, was latterly revived and placed 
upon a more effective basis through the influence of this office, 
with the assistance in various members of the American Chamber 
of Commerce in Mexico, notably William L. Vail, who volun- 
teered to take charge of the work. 

Details of the operation of the propaganda of the enemy 
did not differ materially from those employed in every neutral 
country. The basis of their work was conventional, practical, 
and sound. Upon that, however, they had reared a structure 
of falsification, misrepresentation, and chicanery. It was upheld, 
on the part of those among the Mexicans whom they drew to 
their support, not because of conscientious conviction of the 
justice of the cause which they were espousing, but solely because 
they were paid for what they did with copious moneys dealt 
out by the German information service. Authenticated docu- 
ments from the records of the German information service, 
which are in possession of this office, show that the Germans 
were paying subsidies aggregating nearly $25,000 United States 
currency monthly to twenty-three newspapers and periodicals, 
besides supplying them with free paper and an alleged "cable" 
service made in Mexico. At a conservative estimate the press 
activities alone of the Germans in subsidies, paper, telegraph 



service, and tolls must have cost them not far from $50,000 
United States currency monthly. 

It is a significant fact, and one which redounds to the credit 
of the reputable, honorable journalists of Mexico, that during 
the war there was not a single newspaper or periodical in the 
Republic which pleaded the German cause that was self-sustain- 
ing. All were subsidized with German gold. On the other hand, 
there was not one pro-American Ally newspaper or periodical 
which was not self-sustaining. The Mexico Section, directly 
or indirectly, did not subsidize any publication 

When the work of this office began the Germans had the 
field virtually to themselves. With rare exceptions the news- 
papers which were not avowedly pro-German gave the cause 
of the United States and of the Allies languid and indifferent 
support. Largely the fault for this condition was ours. Un- 
til we started our work no organized, adequate, authoritative 
channels for obtaining information regarding the purposes and 
the acts of the United States at war were available to newspapers 
or individuals who were inclined to be friendly. The reverse 
was impressively, emphatically, and, to us, reproachfully true, 
so far as the Germans were concerned. 

But this initial handicap was speedily overcome. From the 
outset it was assumed that the Mexican press and public, or 
at least that portion of it which was not debauched by German 
money and German lies, was fair and receptive. This was almost 
instantaneously proved. We worked always in the open. Official 
notice was served upon the Mexican government of the estab- 
lishment of the offices of the Committee in the City of Mexico and 
of the purpose of the Committee in extending its operations into 
Mexico. We hid nothing from public view. There was nothing 
to hide. Incidentally this principle was laid down and main- 
tained to the point that the director felt free to declare, and still 
does declare, that there is not a document, record, payment, or 
act of the Mexico Section which is not open to the full and un- 
restricted scrutiny of any person in or out of Mexico, 

From the beginning this office stressed the fact and gave it 
the widest proper publicity, that the Mexico Section spoke and 
functioned officially for the government of the United States, 
and that the government of the United States stood back of 
every statement contained in every cable report or piece of 
literature issued by us. Our challenge of responsibility for word 


and deed, both on behalf of our government and of this office, 
was not once questioned or accepted by those who opposed us. 

Our sole mission was to inform the people of Mexico. It has 
been said that we did this adequately. All things considered 
the remoteness of many of the populous parts of the Republic 
from our headquarters in the City of Mexico, the regrettable 
delay in commencing our work, the vast numerical preponder- 
ance of the illiterate over the literate among the population of 
Mexico, their latent antagonism to, and suspicion of, the United 
States, and the modest sum available for the purpose of the 
Committee in Mexico one feels that inspection of the record 
of the Mexico Section may safely be invited from any critics, 
friendly or unfriendly. 

The director was fortunate in being able to surround him- 
self with a corps of assistants Americans for the greater 
part, but including Mexicans, British, Russians, and French 
who gave him efficient, loyal, and patriotic support. He owes 
much to them, and he takes pleasure in acknowledging that 
obligation with deep thanks. The always constructive, ap- 
preciated, and helpful interest and co-operation of the American 
Ambassador, Henry Prather Fletcher, Esq., contributed immeas- 
urably to the success of the work of the Committee in Mexico. 
Enthusiastic and invaluable aid was also rendered, almost with- 
out exception, by the members of the consul corps of the United 
States in Mexico. Equally important service was given by vol- 
unteer correspondents in all parts of the Republic, who included 
not only Americans, but Mexican citizens and nationals of sub- 
stantially every country on earth which either militantly or sen- 
timentally were alined on the side of justice and democracy 
against despotism and ruthless force. 

Two dominant facts stand out clearly as a result of the ex- 
perience: One is that much was accomplished in acquainting 
the people of Mexico with the power, the resources in national 
crises, the righteously militant spirit, the ideals, the under- 
lying altruism of their neighbors to the north. The obvious 
reply to this, of course, is that, considering the close geographical, 
commercial, and political ties of the two countries, the Mexican 
people should have known all this before. Which is quite true. 
But they didn't. It had never been the business of any one to 
enlighten them systematically, purposefully, and truthfully. The 
other fact is that much of permanent benefit to the United States 



and Mexico could and should be built upon the foundation laid 
by the Committee on Public Information. 

Two expressions of judgment upon the work of the Mexico 
Section may properly be included in this report. The first is 
in the form of a resolution adopted by the American Chamber of 
Commerce in Mexico, as follows : 

"Resolved, That this chamber commends in the highest terms 
the work accomplished by the Committee on Public Information 
in Mexico under the direction of Mr. Robert H. Murray, it 
being its judgment that a decided change for the better in the 
attitude of the Mexican people has been brought about through 
its efficient work. 

"Resolved, That copies of the resolution be sent to the American 
Ambassador, American Consul-General in Mexico, Mr. George 
Creel, chairman of the Committee on Public Information in 
Washington, and to Mr. Robert H. Murray, director of the 
Mexican Section." 

The second is an editorial published in La Prensa, a daily 
newspaper printed in the city of Puebla, on December 24, 1918. 

"Varied and contradictory were the notices which during the 
terrible European War were circulated by the foreign information 
agencies established in the capital of the Republic, news ema- 
nating from the battle-fields according to the events occurring 
and sent to Mexico from the very countries at war. The effect 
of all this on the various parties is past history, each group 
wishing success for the side they sympathized with. The time 
is also past of uneasy expectation on the part of neutral nations, 
who anxiously followed the march of events as given out by the 
respective agencies, and who, while regretting the bloodshed 
and destruction of war, thought, as they still do, uneasily about 
the future of the world in respect to commercial relations and 
that state of peace which was to form a league of nations. 

"Now that the great struggle has been solved by an armistice 
which will lead to the basis of a lasting peace; now with the dis- 
appearance of the powerful empire of the autocratic and warlike 
German Kaiser, who carried destruction and extermination into 
France and Belgium, and that the European nations breathe 
freely again; and now, also, that we can appreciate present events, 
as deductions from the past great battles, we see clearly that the 
reports of some foreign agencies were not true as to the course 
of events in the theaters of war, since we remember that for many 



days after the German failure and the abdication of a conquered 
William II, the pro-German papers and agencies continued to 
deny these events for a purpose the ultimate end of which would 
be ridicule, as actually happened in the case of these agencies. 

" We must confess, however, because facts have so proved this, 
that the agency in the capital of the Committee on Public 
Information of the United States government in charge of Mr. 
Robert H. Murray never diverged from the truth and never 
tried to alter the telegrams which it received, whether they 
were favorable or adverse to the nation to which it belonged. 
Its reports were an exact statement and a truthful one of events, 
and its straightforward conduct must be valued for its true 
worth, if we remember those days of anxiety, of expectation, 
and of worry as to the results of the world struggle which had no 
equal in the centuries." 

"We have always relied upon the reports issued by Mr. Mur- 
ray's agency; we always received them with pleasure and entire 
confidence, and in repeating them to the public as received we 
invariably did so with the conviction of truth-bearers as to the 
terrible events happening overseas in which all Europe was 

The organization of the Mexico Section was arranged by sub- 
divisions, according to the nature of the work. To the director 
fell the general executive functions. Next in authority came the 
office manager, Mr. Arthur de Lima, followed by the managers of 
the Editorial Department, the Motion Picture Department, the 
Still Picture Department, the Reading Room and School, and 
the Mailing Department. Each department had the necessary 
corps of translators, editors, teachers, clerks, stenographers, 
messengers, and office-boys. At no time did the entire force of 
the executive office exceed 40 persons. Salaries ranged down- 
ward from 100 pesos (substantially $50 United States currency), 
which was the highest paid. Our salaries as a rule were lower 
than paid for similar service by commercial houses. Preference 
in employment, so far as possible, was given to American citizens. 

Thanks to the co-operation of Compub in New York, an 
excellent and carefully selected general war-news service which 
ran as high as 1,000 words daily, according to the im- 
portance and interest of the occurrences at home and abroad, 
was received in the City of Mexico by cable, via Galveston. 
Translators reduced the cables to Spanish. Copies were trans- 
21 309 


mitted by messenger, or land-telegraph wires, to 31 newspapers, 
9 in the capital and 22 in the interior. In many instances the 
newspapers gave the Committee's cable service preference in 
display to despatches of their own special correspondents, or 
those of regular news agencies. At frequent intervals the news- 
papers in the capital issued extra afternoon editions on the war 
news furnished them by the Committee. 

Implicit confidence was placed upon the authenticity of our 
news so much so, in fact, that several newspapers which had 
been printing the alleged news despatches of the German in- 
formation service abandoned them and instead used those of 
the Committee. 

It was notorious that the German news service was fabricated 
in Mexico and that the Germans did not receive a word of cable 
news from without the Republic. German agents stationed 
at border points, notably Nuevo Laredo and Juarez, rewrote 
cable news clipped from the United States newspapers and 
stolen from news bureaus' and special correspondents' de- 
spatches sent to Mexican newspapers, distorted them to suit 
the purposes of the Germans, and distributed them to their 
dupes and subsidized newspapers as "special" cable or "wire- 
less" messages. 

Approximately 4,433,000 words of our daily cable service were 
distributed to the Mexican newspapers during the eleven months 
of the existence of the Mexico Section. Mimeographed copies 
of the daily despatches were prepared and a total of 35,000 of 
them were distributed in the City of Mexico among business 
firms, which displayed them in show windows, to the foreign 
legations, Mexican government officials, and individuals. 

Spanish translations of special articles prepared by the 
Foreign Press Bureau of the Committee in New York, and 
made suitable by careful editing and revision for the Mexican 
field and the limited space of the newspapers, were sent daily 
to the 65 newspapers and periodicals on our list. The record 
shows that nearly 60 per cent, of this material was used. On 
an average 300 articles monthly, or 3,300 in all, were dis- 
tributed. The supply was not equal to the demand, the same 
being true of cuts and matrices. Of the latter more than 2,000 
were used. 

To the newspapers also supplementary daily news letters (virtu- 
ally a complete telegraphic service) were mailed, the total being 



178,000. For the benefit of persons outside of Mexico, who were 
interested in Mexican affairs, it was deemed expedient, and within 
the functions of the Committee, to issue a weekly news bulletin 
in English. In this bulletin appeared only matter relating to 
official Mexican government activities and topics connected 
with reconstruction, industry, development, etc. This was sent 
by mail to 1,000 individuals and firms in the United States. 
Eighteen editions were published with a total circulation of 
20,000. The bulletin met with appreciative reception and com- 
ment from hundreds of persons among those who received it, 
including members of the United States Congress, the Librarian 
of Congress, and other officials of our government and corpora- 
tions and individuals having investment interests in Mexico. 
Requests for this bulletin were received in almost every mail 
and from parts as distant as England, Canada, and 'Japan. 
Franking privileges were granted by the Mexican government 
for both the news letter and the English bulletin. 

Several months before the war closed it was found advisable 
to issue a weekly publication devoted exclusively to the interests 
and war activities of our government. This bore the title, 
America in the War. It consisted of sixteen illustrated pages, 
well edited and attractively arranged and printed. Its success 
was instantaneous and it developed into one of the most effective 
elements of our educational campaign. Especially was it valu- 
able in inspiring and maintaining interest and enthusiasm among 
our correspondents, and bringing them more intimately in touch 
with this office. Of America in the War more than 100,000 were 
circulated in weekly editions of from 4,000 to 5,000 copies. We 
also bought and distributed not far from 500,000 copies of 
various publications containing special articles in support of the 
cause of the United States, or throwing light upon the friendly 
attitude of the United States toward the Mexican people and 

Mr. George F. Weeks was manager of the Editorial Department. 

With respect to literature, the chief difficulty encountered was 
not to find channels and outlets for carrying the word to the 
people, but to obtain enough material with which to satisfy their 
demands. We distributed a total of 985,000 pieces of literature 
of all descriptions pamphlets, posters, folders, post-cards, not 
counting between 50,000 and 75,000 Liberty Loan and other war 
posters and half-tone window hangers, consigned to us from 



Washington and New York. Not less than 75 per cent, of our 
correspondents filed repeat orders for substantially every ship- 
ment of literature sent them. It was impossible to meet all of 
these requisitions. Double the amount of literature could have 
been circulated had it been available. Travelers constantly 
brought us word of having seen in remote places copies of the 
more popular of the pamphlets, President Wilson's Fourteen 
Points, his address to the Mexican editors who visited him at the 
White House, his war speeches to the Congress, a condensation 
of Brand Whitlock's story of Belgium, the circumstantial ac- 
counts of the German atrocities, and Prince Lichnowsky's pillory- 
ing of his government for precipitating the war, which had been 
passed from hand to hand and read and reread until the pages 
were in tatters. 

In general, the literature was circulated in two ways by the 
correspondents in their respective districts and by mail directly 
from headquarters. A mailing-list was prepared which contained 
nearly 20,000 names of professional men, government officials, 
school-teachers, merchants, clergymen, labor leaders, farmers, 
and others in the middle and higher walks of life. Many hun- 
dreds of letters were received from the persons who obtained 
literature, expressing their thanks, asking for more, and not 
seldom inclosing the names of friends to whom they wished 
pamphlets mailed. So far as possible, pamphlets were prepared 
which contained matter calculated to appeal especially to sundry 
classes, such as working-men, the clergy, educators, etc. When- 
ever the text permitted, they were embellished with illustrations. 

Posters were effective and we used them freely. Care was 
taken to phrase them tersely and simply. 

No literature was issued anonymously. We officially stood 
sponsor for everything. Each piece of printed matter bore the 
imprint of the Committee and the slogan of the office: "The War: 
Remember, The United States Cannot Lose!" Constant and 
indefatigable reiteration of this phrase eventually elevated it 
to the dignity of an impressive and confident prophecy. It was 
effective so much so that for a time it enjoyed ephemeral life 
as a popular catchword in the streets and on the stage of the 
capital. In their heyday the Germans made it the subject of 
sarcastic jest. 

It goes without saying that among a population in which 
illiterates unfortunately predominate motion pictures possess 



an enormous influence as a medium for conveying impressions 
and creating sentiment where the printed word is without value. 
In Mexico the motion-picture films proved to be one of our 
greatest assets. The pictures "got over" and won converts 
to our cause where other mediums would inevitably have failed. 
Our motion-picture campaign was successful. But at first it 
was uphill work. German agents saw to it diligently in the 
beginning that displays of war pictures of American soldiers, 
in the camp or in the field, of our preparations in every branch 
of our mobilizations of the industrial, military, naval, and social 
forces which the government brought to bear in the conflict, 
met with an uproariously hostile reception from the audiences 
to which they were shown. Frequently the police were sum- 
moned to restore order. Complaints to the authorities were made 
by our opponents that our pictures were inciting riots and that 
the screening of portraits of the President, General Pershing, and 
other notable personages, and of the American flag floating at 
the forefront of marching troops or at the masthead of naval 
units, constituted an insult to the Mexican government and 
people and were in violation of Mexico's neutrality. On various 
occasions our displays were halted until the local authorities 
could be convinced by tactful explanations, and by private ex- 
hibitions given for their benefit, that the pictures might properly 
be allowed on view. 

Gradually the demonstrations lessened, and finally ceased. 
The pictures won their way. The attitude of the public altered 
until after a few months we were repaid for our persistence by 
reports from our agents telling of cheering and applause in 
place of hoots and yells, and even of vivas being given for the 
flag, the President, American war- vessels, and American soldiers. 

American industrial films, with which we were freely supplied, 
aroused a disappointing volume of interest. The public appetite 
would be satisfied with nothing less tame than actual war pictures 
or commercial films telling stories to Germany's discredit. Meas- 
urably successful exhibitions of the industrial films were given 
in the open air, in schools, and before selected audiences. 

On the circuit organized by the Motion Picture Department, 
of which Dr. M. L. Espinosa was in charge, our films were shown 
in 68 houses throughout the Republic, and to audiences which, 
according to our carefully kept reports, aggregated 4,500,000 



Effective use was made of the still pictures sent us from 
Washington. Boards were provided which had space for twelve 
pictures, each with an explanatory caption in Spanish. The 
boards were attractively made and painted and bore in Spanish, 
"The Committee on Public Information, Mexico Section," in 
addition to printed cards, which were frequently changed, with 
educational references to what the United States was doing in the 
war. These pictures were changed weekly. The boards were 
exhibited in shop-windows and other conspicuous places. They 
amply supplemented the appeal of the motion pictures, and, 
probably to the same extent as the latter, impressed through the 
medium of the eye the might and resources which the United 
States arrayed against German military despotism. Altogether 
there were displayed in this manner 116,256 separate still pictures. 
Mr. L. Kuhn was manager of the Still Picture Department. 

Two experiments which were approached with a degree of 
caution and doubt our Reading Room and School in the City 
of Mexico proved to be among the most successful and effective 
branches of the work. The Reading Room was designed as a 
popular center for general dissemination of information. It 
became all of that and more. Quarters were obtained in a large 
store-room on one of the most frequented thoroughfares in the 
business heart of the capital. Appropriate equipment of tables, 
chairs, etc., was provided. With flags, bunting, pictures of 
American and Allied notables, posters, etc., the room was at- 
tractively decorated. Files were kept of the Mexican news- 
papers and periodicals and also of the principal American news- 
papers and illustrated magazines. 

An abundant supply of Spanish-printed literature, including 
all of the publications of the Committee, was available, both for 
reading and on the premises and for distribution. 

Our daily cable news was displayed on bulletin-boards, inside 
and outside of the Reading Room. Free toilet conveniences, 
a dressing-room for women, telephone, and writing-paper were 
included in the equipment. From the beginning the Reading 
Room was patronized to capacity day and evening. The visitors 
came from all ranks of citizens, artisans, laborers, shopkeepers, 
professional men, women, flocking there for enlightenment as 
to the issues and progress of the war, and to exchange views on 
the situation. Spirited discussions took place. Several times 
weekly lectures or talks upon the war, the United States, Mexican 



affairs, and kindred topics were given. Occasionally the discus- 
sions were illustrated by motion pictures. During the seven 
and a half months in which the Reading Room was open the 
number of visitors, by actual count, totaled 106,868. 

Encouraged by the reception given the Reading Room, it 
was determined to take advantage of the wide-spread demand, 
indicated frequently among the visitors, to open a school for 
instruction in English. A shop adjoining the Reading Room 
was rented and furnished with desks, benches, and blackboards. 

From the initial session, the capacity of the school was taxed. 
English was the most eagerly sought-for study, but French, 
bookkeeping, and stenography classes were well patronized. 
A corps of teachers, volunteers or paid, labored diligently, in- 
telligently, and successfully. Instruction was free and many 
pupils were drawn from institutions where tuition fees were 
charged because, as they said, more practical and effective 
teaching was given in the Committee's school than in the others. 
The zest of the pupils to acquire English was amazing. Their 
curiosity regarding the government of the United States, its 
history, art, literature, and the customs of our people, was 
evinced to a degree which the management, owing to the limita- 
tions imposed upon it, found difficult to satisfy. 

In age the students ranged from boys and girls of sixteen to 
elderly men and women. The working-classes predominated. 
With few exceptions those who entered studied hard and per- 
sistently. Uninterested pupils were weeded out, and their places 
given to the more ambitious and serious applicants. When the 
school closed 1,127 individual pupils were registered. The total 
school-day attendance was nearly 30,000. Sixteen English classes 
were in operation with an average of 65 pupils, two French classes 
with an average of 103 pupils, and four special English and 
two special classes with an average of 12 pupils. 

No one who watched the operation of the school and ap- 
preciated by observation the zest of the students to learn Eng- 
lish, and the sympathetic mental trend toward the United 
States inspired among them in the process, could fail to regret 
that the classes might not have been continued permanently, 
and that some arrangement might not be made for extending 
on a larger scale throughout Mexico what the Committee ac- 
complished in an experimental way in the capital. 

Through the efforts of the section six reading-rooms were 



established and successfully conducted outside of the capital, 
in Guadalajara, Vera Cruz, Aguascalientes, Leon, Durango, and 

Mr. J. B. Frisbie was manager of the Reading Room and School. 

A trial shipment of 50,000 celluloid buttons bearing the flags 
of the United States and of the Spanish-American Republics 
which entered the war against Germany, and the legend, "Allied 
in Honor," proved so popular that 100,000 more were obtained. 
The end of the war rendered it unnecessary to continue this 

The Liberty Truth Committee, composed of representatives 
of the American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, and operating 
in close co-operation with the section, aided vitally in our news- 
paper campaign by obtaining advertising appropriations from 
American business concerns for the legitimate encouragement of 
newspapers and other publications which supported our cause. 

The Advertising Section bought and used freely advertising 
space, plainly marked as such, in newspapers and magazines. 
Its appropriation for this purpose was inadequate, but profitable 
reaction resulted from what expenditures it was able to make. 
Especially effective was a series of full-page and half-page ad- 
vertisements announcing the heavy oversubscription to the 
Fourth Liberty Loan which were printed to counteract the in- 
tensive and desperate efforts of the Germans to delude the 
Mexican public into believing that the American people had 
repudiated the war through failure to subscribe the full amount 
of the loan. 

With the exception of a few sparsely settled and remote points, 
operations extended through the entire Republic. Represent- 
atives of the Committee were stationed in every city and im- 
portant town in the country. When the armistice the date 
upon which the work of the section was at flood-tide was 
signed on November 11, 1918, the Mexico Section had 222 
individual correspondents, who covered 165 points. 



QWITZERLAND was a notable victory and full credit 
|^ must go to Mrs. Norman de R. Whitehouse, in charge 
from bitter first to happy last. It was a new thing to place 
a woman in such a position of absolutely international 
importance, but behind her was a record of achieve- 
ment that made the appointment wise and necessary. 
Equal suffrage in New York after its defeat in 1915 was 
apparently "dead," but Mrs. Whitehouse accepted the 
office of state chairman, galvanized the movement, gave 
it new force and enthusiasm, and drove it through 
to victory. It proved rare understanding of people and 
their prejudices; it meant technical knowledge of every 
medium of appeal, and, above all, it showed the translation 
of devotion into terms of energy and actual drudgery. 
Mrs. Whitehouse's job was to put America across in Swit- 
zerland just as she had put equal suffrage across in New 

We knew that she was doing well, by our study of the 
Swiss papers, and we knew that she was winning when the 
German press commenced to attack her and the work 
with hysterical bitterness; but it remained for the six 
Swiss journalists, arriving in the United States as our 
guests, to tell the whole story of accomplishment. 

"She has changed the whole attitude of Switzerland," 
they joined in declaring. "It was never the case that we 



were pro-Germans, but rather that we did not know 
America. This was the knowledge that she gave us, 
openly, honestly, and with rare intelligence, overcoming 
suspicions, climbing over a hundred and one obstacles, 
and reaching the heart and mind of Switzerland in a manner 
never approached by the agent of any other country." 

With the exception of those owned by Germans, there 
was not a paper that she failed to influence fairly; her 
ultimate control of the motion-picture situation was com- 
plete; her use of speakers and literature was without an 
ounce of waste, and effective to the last degree was her 
inspiration of the German radical group in Switzerland, 
a band of enthusiasts who preached the gospel of democ- 
racy in the days when the world did not dream that the 
Hohenzollern could be divorced from his asserted union 
with divinity. 

It was no easy task to which Mrs. Whitehouse was as- 
signed. Switzerland, right under the German fist, lived 
in fear of meeting Belgium's fate, and there was a further 
compelling consideration in that the Swiss were dependent 
upon German coal for their railroads and industries. In 
addition to all this, German propaganda had been de- 
veloping in Switzerland for thirty or forty years and was 
conducted by a corps of trained experts. It was com- 
mon gossip that there were between eight and twelve 
hundred German diplomatic representatives, a large 
majority of whom had no other function than to praise 
Germany and to attack her enemies. A fundamental 
feature of the German policy was to buy or subsidize 
Swiss newspapers and news agencies and leave them under 
the Swiss directors. They also had a system of paying the 
smaller papers throughout Switzerland for every pub- 
lished paragraph or item sent out by German-owned 
news agencies. 

The majority of the motion-picture houses in German- 


Switzerland were either owned outright or controlled by 
the German government. The same conditions applied 
to theaters, opera-houses, commercial establishments, 
and even to the news-stands. Aside from these controls, 
German agents had a very complete, accurate, and efficient 
system of circulation, and as a result Switzerland was inun- 
dated not only by pro-German propaganda, but with 
anti-Ally and especially anti-American propaganda. 

"On my arrival," to quote from the report of Mrs. 
Whitehouse, "I found that the Germans were maintaining 
that America could not raise an army in spite of her draft 
law, that she could not train it, could not arm it, could 
not transport it to Europe, and that if she did, the untrained 
soldiers could not face the German heroes. They tried 
to persuade the Swiss that America was going to invade 
Switzerland in order to attack Germany. They agitated 
a great deal about a secret treaty, which was supposed to 
exist between the United States and Great Britain in regard 
to Japan. They tried to show our weakness at home by 
reporting that our difficulties on the Mexican border 
amounted to our being at war with that country and they 
insinuated that we meant to annex it. They tried to create 
difficulties between the Allies by articles showing that the 
Americans had invaded France to the latter country's 
disadvantage. They harped upon our supposed effort 
to steal Great Britain's place as the leader of commerce 
on the seas, and particularly did they exaggerate every 
delay in grain shipments from America, charging a Yankee 
effort to * starve poor Switzerland." 1 

Nowhere was there a single agency interested in present- 
ing America's position or the American effort. The French 
and the English were concerned only with their own per- 
suasions, and the news services sent out by Reuters and 
Havas contained few American items. The importance 
of Switzerland to us as a news center was that it was the 



only neutral nation whose newspapers are printed in the 
German language, and all of them had a free and large 
circulation in Austria and Germany. They were not only 
read by Germans, but the German press quoted from them 
freely, the liberal papers especially following everything 
that appeared in the Swiss papers. Getting our news 
into the German-Swiss press was the best way of getting 
it into Germany. It was also the case that Switzerland 
was filled with Germans and Austrians seeking escape 
from the privations of war, and these were naturally in- 
fluenced by the Swiss papers that they read. In addition 
a great number of Germans came back and forth into 
Switzerland very freely and in large numbers, forming 
a virtual messenger service. It is therefore easy to be 
seen that Switzerland was a "first-line trench" in our 
drive against the morale of the German people. 

It can be said truthfully that never at any time did Mrs. 
Whitehouse receive the assistance to which she was en- 
titled. In the first place, Mr. Stovall, the American Min- 
ister, while a very delightful gentleman, was a Southerner 
with all the traditions of the South, and he had the very 
deep conviction that "woman's place is the home." In 
the second place, just before Mrs. Whitehouse sailed, The 
New York Times printed a story to the effect that she 
was proceeding to Switzerland as a representative of the 
President and giving the idea that her mission was diplo- 
matic in its nature. This wretched canard, copied in the 
Swiss press, caused certain unpleasant reactions in all 
circles, and shortly before Mrs. Whitehouse's arrival an 
announcement was made to the effect that her work 
in Switzerland would be concerned with "women and 

These misunderstandings were straightened out event- 
ually by the frank statement of purpose that was our 
invariable policy. The President defined Mrs. White- 


house's functions and the Swiss government, when it 
understood the true nature of her errand, gave full approval 
and all assistance. Even then, however, obstacles arose 
to embarrass and impede. As the real work had to be 
done in German-Switzerland, Mrs. Whitehouse's needs 
were translators and assistants who knew the German 
language in all of its dialects and idioms, and quite naturally 
this need could only be met by men and women of German 
birth. We searched the country over for this type of 
American and succeeded in finding several who possessed 
the necessary qualifications as well as having records for 
loyalty that were above question. No passports could be 
issued without the approval of Military Intelligence, and 
the officers of this division refused to let our selections go 
to Switzerland until after weeks and weeks of tedious 
investigation. Even when every test had been met, and 
when permission to sail had been granted, the French 
came forward with objections, and additional months had 
to be taken to convince them that the people we were 
sending were loyal Americans and not spies. All the while 
Mrs. Whitehouse was without this very necessary assist- 
ance, so that a great burden of unnecessary drudgery fell 
upon her own shoulders. 

Unable to secure proper offices, lacking an office force, 
and compelled to work under every inconvenience, Mrs. 
Whitehouse drove ahead with unflagging energy. Borrow- 
ing Mr. George B. Fife from the Red Cross, her first activity 
was the translation and distribution of the daily cable 
and wireless service received from her office in Paris. 
To quote from her report: 

Our service arrived early in the morning. It was rewritten 
in simple English, translated into French and German and de- 
livered to the Agence Tel6graphique Suisse, the official Swiss 
news agency, which distributed it for us to the Swiss press. This 
agency was reported to be unsympathetic, and whether because 



of this fact or not, we found that mistakes were made in our 
figures and that sometimes important items were overlooked. 
This compelled us to take pains in confirming and reconfirming 
by telephone and by letter all figures, and in order to avoid 
any oversight in distributing important news items we ourselves 
would telegraph or telephone such items directly to the papers. 

In August I was able to report to the Committee on Public 
Information in Washington that an estimated minimum of 
2,000 paragraphs of our service was being published weekly in 
the Swiss papers. All of the President's speeches and notes were 
translated in full and sent both in English and German, or Eng- 
lish and French, to every newspaper. Previously only extracts 
had been carried by Havas and Reuter. In addition, the News 
Service Department sent weekly bulletins directly to the edi- 
torial offices of all the papers, reviewing the American events 
of greatest interest of the past week, and commenting upon their 

The news items from our service aroused great public interest 
and discussion, and as a result both Havas and Reuter com- 
menced to include a larger amount of American news in their 
daily releases. We believe that to this fact is due the enormously 
increased use of the Havas and Reuter items on American events. 

From the Foreign Press Bureau in New York we received 
special articles and feature stories through the diplomatic pouch. 
These articles we found of great value, but they presented 
enormous difficulties. They had to be rewritten and edited from 
the Swiss point of view and connected with events in Switzer- 
land, before they were translated. Until the armistice negotia- 
tions began to absorb public attention, we placed almost 100 
per cent, of these articles which we succeeded in having trans- 
lated. Extracts from the Foreign Press Bureau were useful as 
news items also, although they were many weeks old when we 
received them. 

We also sent a biweekly inform ationservice to the editorial 
staffs of the newspapers, including in this service such material 
as Secretary Baker's military report, the Shipping Board's report, 
navy reports on naval constructions, etc. Many extracts from 
them were printed in the press and they furnished good material 
for editorials. 

The Mittel Presse, an agency which served a collection of 
small German-Swiss papers, formerly considered pro-German, 


accepted a service of special articles from us three times a 

A number of pamphlets were issued and circulated, including 
the Bolshevik revelations, President Wilson's speeches, and one 
on America's achievement in the first year of the war. These 
pamphlets were printed in comparatively small numbers about 
10,000 in the first edition. They were distributed free to men 
of prominence and influence and put on sale at bookshops and 
news-stands at a nominal price. 

It was in connection with pamphlet distribution that 
Mrs. Whitehouse gave most convincing proof of her execu- 
tive intelligence. It had been the habit of the Allied 
propagandists to print pamphlets in huge quantities, giving 
them circulation without reference to readers. Mrs. 
Whitehouse made a survey of Switzerland that established 
the number of Swiss that spoke German, the number that 
spoke French, the number of men and women who could 
read, and the number of illiterates. As a consequence 
she issued ten thousand pamphlets instead of a million 
and had a mark for every one of her "paper bullets." 

From a score of sources we learned of her tirelessness 
and courage. If she could not get a passenger-train she 
traveled on a freight. She made personal trips to every 
city and town, visited every editor, established relations 
with all the business and social organizations, and not the 
least of her achievements was the manner in which she 
enlisted the services of the university professors. William 
E. Rappard of the University of Geneva, one of Switzer- 
land's most distinguished scholars, gave wonderful assist- 
ance, and so unselfish and unremitting were his efforts 
that it might almost be said that he became a part of the 
organization itself. 

It may be remembered that President Wilson sent a 
message direct to the people of the Austro-Hungarian 
Empire, a great word of encouragement that had the force 
of a military offensive. It was most important that the 



President's address should reach the people for whom it 
was intended, and without thought of danger or privation 
Mrs. Whitehouse herself crossed the frontier and placed 
the message in the proper channels for thorough circulation. 

In the matter of motion pictures, the Allied propagand- 
dists recognized that this was an important field of propa- 
ganda and appointed an inter- Allied committee to work 
out a plan of co-operation. The mere report of joint 
action caused one of the German-owned companies to 
offer for sale their large chain of houses, but in spite of 
this indication of power, the Allies could agree to no plans 
except that Allied film of commercial value should not 
be sold except on condition that a certain per cent, of news 
or propaganda film should be shown with it. In the mean 
time the British and French disputed that the Committee's 
propaganda films should be shown with American films 
of commercial value. The British claimed that all Amer- 
ican commercial films were British property because the 
accepted business method was to sell American films to 
British firms, who reproduced them in England on British 
material. The French claimed they were French property 
because the method of renting them in Europe was through 
French firms with right for other countries. 

Mrs. Whitehouse cut this Gordian knot by asking the 
Committee in Washington to obtain for her the exclusive 
rights for the distribution of all American commercial film 
in Switzerland, and not only did we do this, but we sent 
such film directly to her in the diplomatic pouch. It was 
also the case that the Paris office sent her battle-front film 
direct each week. Without further reference to the 
French and English, she prepared her own programs, 
combining the Committee's pictures with comedies and 
drama films, and gave them a circulation that soon covered 
the entire field. 

With respect to photographs, Mrs. Whitehouse filled 



the shop-windows in Switzerland with them, and also 
arranged a system of glass display cases in which the pict- 
ures were changed weekly. In one month alone more 
than 2,000 enlarged photographs of 127 different kinds 
were on exhibition in 77 places, in 33 towns. 

It was Mrs. Whitehouse who suggested that the Com- 
mittee, in the name of the government of the United 
States, should invite the representative editors of Switzer- 
land for the inspection of our war effort, and proof of the 
standing that she had gained in Switzerland was furnished 
by the fact that the delegation was virtually selected by 
the government itself and was almost official in its char- 
acter. The tour of these six journalists was the finishing 
blow in our fight for the public opinion of Switzerland. 
Not only was it the case that each man sent back daily 
cables that increased in enthusiasm regularly, but upon 
their return they told the story of our resolve and invinci- 
bility in such direct phrases as to convince Switzerland 
that Germany was beaten and that the free peoples of 
the world had nothing to fear from our victory, but could 
look to it with hope and rejoicing. 

There is no finer comment upon the work of Mrs. 
Whitehouse than the following editorial, written by the 
Swiss Middle Press News Bureau, anti-American in the 
beginning, and printed. in scores of papers that had been 
pro-German at the start: 

It is stated that the American Committee on Public Infor- 
mation at Berne will close its bureau and discontinue its news 
service on February 22d. 

This announcement cannot be passed over in silence. The 
American press service in Switzerland, as no other bureau which 
supplied the Swiss press with news and articles, has from the 
start taken a position which placed it far above the usual stand- 
ard of propaganda. In this respect it formed a counterpart to 
the Swiss Mission, which not long ago went to America and was 
accompanied by Minister Sulzer, because it made it its principal 
22 325 


object to explain to the Swiss the true conditions and intentions 
of America and to bring the two republics to a better mutual 
understanding. Just because of this high interpretation of its 
task, it has fulfilled its purpose. As far as its activity concerned 
the war, it was anything but an imperialistic war agitation; rather 
has it carried on only propaganda for a just and lasting peace 
and thereby gained the full appreciation of Switzerland. There 
is probably no state and no statesman so highly esteemed and 
regarded with so much confidence in Switzerland as the North 
American Union and its President Wilson. 

The following editorial from the Berner Tageblatt is also 
significant : 

As we are informed, the American "Committee of Public 
Information" in Berne will close its offices and discontinue its 
news service. On this occasion, the recognition is due to this 
Press Bureau that its practice has been to give real information 
and not one-sided colored propaganda, as has been conspicuously 
the custom of similar foreign enterprises. 

If I have seemed to deal too briefly with the Swiss 
achievement, it is because Mrs. Whitehouse has written 
her own story. A Year As a Government Agent, published 
by Harper & Brothers, sets down her experiences in careful 
and fascinating detail. 



HOLLAND must be regarded as having offered the 
main avenue of attack upon the public opinion of 
the German masses. It was not, like other neutral coun- 
tries adjacent to German territory, the scene of interna- 
tional conferences or sinister outside influences, but 
presented a clear and homogeneous field for the dissemi- 
nation of information. The information provided was 
therefore designed to gain direct circulation in Holland, 
but the content was always chosen with regard to the 
ultimate effect on the German masses. 

Henry Suydam, European correspondent for The Brook- 
lyn Eagle, was the man decided upon to serve as commis- 
sioner for Holland. It was not only that his work stood 
out by reason of its strength, breadth, and analytical 
keenness, but personal reports placed even larger emphasis 
upon his personality. It was a difficult post to which 
Mr. Suydam was called, and it is a deserved tribute to 
say that he carried the work forward to success without 
a single blunder. The following excerpts from his report 
will show the manner in which the Dutch situation was 

The general problem confronting the Committee on Public 
Information in the Netherlands was twofold: (1) To enlighten 
Dutch public opinion with regard to the fairness and detachment 
of the United States, as well as to provide an adequate picture of 
American war effort as a factor in international affairs, and 



(2) to use Holland, as far as that might legitimately be done 
without committing a belligerent act, as a means of approach 
to all classes of Germans, who were to be convinced that the 
United States was strong and would use that strength for the 
common good. The effort was to obtain facts emphasizing these 
points, and to present these facts to Dutch and Germans with 
due force and precision. 

When my work in Holland began, the Dutch press through 
which the German press maintained a large degree of contact with 
the United States was without adequate American news. 
American editorial comment appeared in the Dutch press when 
it furthered the peculiar interests of some foreign news agency, 
and not often otherwise. American news was frequently selected 
by these agencies for interested reasons. Reuter and Havas 
were, in the opinion of Dutch editors, nothing more than the 
mouthpieces of the British and French governments, and as such, 
little better, in effect, than the German Wolff Bureau. It was 
perhaps unavoidable, but none the less unfortunate, that many 
of the earlier of President Wilson's speeches reached the Germans 
first through these agencies. With the co-operation of John W. 
Garrett, American Minister at The Hague, I never ceased 
to insist that these speeches should reach the Germans first 
either through an American or Dutch source. In two or three in- 
stances the text of such speeches was telegraphed direct to me, 
and distributed to a Dutch news agency, which either telegraphed 
the text direct to the German press or handed it to German 
correspondents, who telegraphed it to their newspapers, as notably 
in the case of the Frankfort Gazette. The Frankfort Gazette was 
the organ of the Reichstag majority parties, and publication of 
the President's speeches therein, in correct text, some hours 
previous to publication in the semi-official German government 
organs, such as the North German Gazette and the Cologne Gazette, 
forced them to publish accurate, unaltered versions. This 
method not only purveyed them to the German masses without 
outside interference, but often had the effect of forcing the Ger- 
man government to issue the full text. When the method was 
finally adopted of issuing the President's speeches on the American 
wireless, the text appeared fully and quickly in both the Dutch 
and German press, and the question was solved. 

Although Reuter's Telegraph Agency offered very great and 
very unstinted assistance at all times, I felt that, however ir- 



reproachable its motive for the common cause, it had identified 
its service too exactly with the British government to be of 
exclusive value to the United States in a neutral country, and 
therefore, although I did not discriminate against it, I saw no 
reason why Reuter should be favored over the two Dutch 
agencies. These were the Hollandsche Nieuws Bureau (The 
Hague) and the Persbureau M. S. Vas Dias (Amsterdam), and 
although the former especially was under some suspicion as hav- 
ing too close German connections, I felt that its full use for our 
own purposes was justifiable, especially as it was the one Dutch 
news service of consequence. A regular service of American 
news, selected by the Committee on Public Information in New 
York, under my constant correction and advice, was telegraphed 
to me daily, together with a special service from general head- 
quarters of the American Expeditionary Forces. Both of these 
services were edited and issued, in various forms and through 
various means, direct to the Dutch press. I was also furnished 
with a daily copy of the American news wireless from a Dutch 
receiving station, and issued sections of these items to such 
Dutch agencies as did not operate a wireless receiving station 
and, in many instances, to Reuter as well. 

Although there were no Dutch newspaper men in the United 
States, all the larger Dutch dailies maintained men in London 
and Paris. It was my plan to have these men in close touch 
with American official sources of information in those capitals. 
While in England on an official mission, I gave a dinner, in the 
mess of the American Embassy in London, to the four Dutch 
editors resident in England (representing Nieuwe Rotterdamsche 
Courant, Handelsblad and Telegraaf of Amsterdam, and Nieuws 
van den Dag of The Hague. There were present representa- 
tives of the American army and navy and of all other departments 
of the government functioning in England, all of whom expressed 
willingness to provide information for the Dutch editors on de- 
mand. From subsequent information coming from official 
sources I learned that the effect of this entertainment on the 
Dutch editors was to give them a new conception of Americans 
and Americanism. 

The advantage thus gained was quickly followed up. On 
June 5, 1918, I escorted Dr. Peter Geyl, editor in England of 
Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant, and Mr. E. W. de Jong, editor 
in England of Handelsblad (Amsterdam), to Queenstown for an 



inspection of the American destroyer base, engaged in convoy 
and anti-submarine work. Upon returning from Queenstown, 
the correspondents had a long interview with Admiral Sims, 
who explained with great frankness the methods and policies 
of our anti-submarine campaign. On June 14th we arrived in 
Paris, proceeding thence to the French coast at St. Nazaire, and 
following the American lines of communication to the front in 
Lorraine. Thus the representatives of the two most important 
newspapers in Holland had followed the course of an American 
soldier from the moment his transport was picked up by the con- 
voys until he had arrived in a front-line trench. From this 
trip, which was one of the first excursions of neutral editors to 
the American front, there resulted nineteen long telegrams and 
eight mail stories in the Dutch press, all of which were copied 
extensively in the German press, and thus provided the first 
independent neutral testimony of the size of American effort. 
The interview with Admiral Sims on the success of our anti- 
submarine measures provoked much protest from German naval 
experts, and Mr. de Jong's telegram, "The American phase of 
the war has begun," was produced in all the important German 
newspapers and circulated by the semi-official Wolff Bureau. 

From confidential information which reached me through a 
direct source which I do not feel can yet be disclosed, I learned 
about August 1, 1918, that when Mr. de Jong's figures regarding 
the size of the American establishment in France were published, 
both the German Foreign Office and the General Staff summoned 
the Berlin correspondent of the Handelsblad and demanded to 
know whether Mr. de Jong was the type of man who would allow 
himself to be bought by the American government. It was 
apparent that the German authorities were simply staggered 
at the direct revelations made as the result of this excursion, 
which I regard as one of the most important single contribu- 
tions of our whole work in the Netherlands. 

Arrangements were later made for the Dutch editors in Paris 
to make similar trips, under the auspices of the Paris office of the 
Committee on Public Information. 

To summarize, then, our solution of the problem of providing 
adequate American news to the Dutch press, through Dutch 
or American sources, I was able to accomplish the following: 
(1) To provide direct telegraphic and wireless news and comment 
from the United States to Dutch news agencies and newspapers; 



(2) to establish contact between Dutch editors in Great Britain 
and France with American news sources, and, furthermore, 

(3) to maintain close personal contact with the more important 
Dutch editors in Holland; and (4) later to issue, in the form of 
a daily bulletin, translations of the more significant news items 
and comment appearing in the American press during each 
twenty -four hours a service that was sent regularly to some 
seventy-six Dutch newspapers. Through these means I was not 
only able to reduce the suspicion of Dutch editors of American 
news served through non-American sources and censorship, 
but to establish direct news communication be een the two 

The German government whether the Imperial government 
before the armistice or the Republican government afterward 
maintained a very elaborate organization on which millions of 
marks were expended. It was, of course, impossible for me to 
fight such an organization with its own weapons. Frequent 
attacks, however, were made on the United States, either by 
means of deliberate lies or perversions of the truth. These were 
constantly contradicted in the Dutch press by means of special 
information telegraphed from Washington, at my request, from 
the government department concerned. The German propa- 
ganda fell into well-reorganized lines of policies, such as question- 
ing the intellectual sincerity of American war aims, belittling 
our physical effort, and attempting to corrupt relations between 
the Allied and Associated Governments. We were able to fight 
the Germans along these same lines, and by insisting, time after 
time, on a given point, to induce them ultimately to abandon the 
gesture as worthless. 

The German so-called "intellectual propaganda" in Holland 
was very effective. Prof. Hans Delbrueck, professor in the Uni- 
versity of Berlin, and leader of a group of German Moderates, 
made frequent excursions to Holland, for the purpose of lecturing 
at the universities and talking with prominent Dutchmen. He 
was usually accompanied by Kurt Hahn, a young German edu- 
cated in England, who was believed to provide the lines of attack 
to the German "intellectual propagandists" in Holland. 

This form of German propaganda was very successful. Al- 
though my remedy for this the establishment of a two-year 
lectureship at the University of Leyden in American history, 
held by a prominent American academician, who was to have 



revived historical Holland-American unity with a living senti- 
ment was not adopted, we were able to make considerable 
progress. Lieut. Leonard van Noppen, U. S. N. R. F., former 
Queen Wilhelmina Professor of Dutch in Columbia University, 
and assistant naval attache at The Hague, was of very great 
service in reaching the intellectual aristocracy of Holland. I 
myself made it a point to know as many important Dutchmen 
as possible, to meet them frequently, and to set them right, in 
short conversations, on many points of American policy which 
they professed to misunderstand. John C. Wiley, second secre- 
tary of the American Legation in The Hague, and Paul L. Ed- 
wards, commercial attache, were of very great assistance in this 
difficult work. 

Although the use of the pamphlet as an educational measure 
had been very general in Europe during the war, I was convinced 
that, for our work, the extensive printing of such matter would 
be a waste of money. We issued only one booklet a collection 
of the pronouncements of President Wilson concerning the League 
of Nations, comprising excerpts from his speeches and statements 
from February 1, 1916, to September 27, 1918. Of these, ten 
thousand copies were printed, and distributed to universities, 
schools, public libraries, editors, members of both Houses of 
Parliament, members of the government, and other persons of 
importance. The residue, after such distribution, was sent to 
various persons on the mailing-list of the German propaganda in 
Holland, a copy of which had come into my hands. 

Special articles on various American subjects from American 
magazines and reviews were translated, however, and issued 
to the Dutch press or to individual editors, and these, in my 
opinion, were of far greater value than any cheap pleading by 
pamphlets scattered about in barber shops and bars. 

The second most important aspect of our work was education 
by means of motion pictures. Upon my arrival in Holland 
from England I found several consignments of very old and un- 
suitable films, dealing mostly with current events in the United 
States. Furthermore, there was no co-operation between the 
British, French, and Italians. Mr. George F. Steward, repre- 
sentative of the British Ministry of Information in Holland, aided 
me in establishing an inter-Allied cinema committee, which 
functioned in connection with an inter- Allied blockade committee, 
composed of the commercial attaches of the four Allied legations. 


As the Dutch exhibitors, to say nothing of the Dutch au- 
diences, had been subject to war films for almost four years 
when the Committee on Public Information in Holland arrived 
on the scene, it was my conviction that only the most unusual 
American war films would have effect. Moreover, it was our 
opinion that straight American commercial films of superior 
sort would be a new and invaluable form of education for the 
Dutch public. I therefore cabled to Washington, pointing out 
the shortage of good Allied war films, together with the dangers 
arising from an adequate German supply, and requesting a 
large consignment of straight commercial films as well. As a 
result of this telegram, Mr. Llewellyn R. Thomas of New York, 
a motion-picture expert, was despatched to The Hague, and ar- 
rived with several hundred thousand feet of war, educational, 
and commercial film, all of which was sold, not given, to the Dutch 
exhibitors, for the total sum of $57,340 . 80, with a very consider- 
able profit to the American producers, for whose future benefit, 
moreover, an American market was thus established. 

On November 4, 1918, a private performance of "America's 
Answer" was given to the general staffs of the Dutch army and 
navy in The Hague. The Dutch officers expressed themselves 
as greatly impressed, and many in the audience showed their 
appreciation by rising when President Wilson and General 
Pershing were thrown on the screen. 

A regular supply of photographs dealing with American war- 
making was received from Washington and general headquarters 
of the American Expeditionary Forces. These were exhibited 
in shop-windows in the larger cities and towns throughout 
Holland. They were regularly sent to Dutch photographic 
agencies and published in the Dutch illustrated press. The 
Dutch agencies also sent them to German agencies in Berlin 
and Vienna, and many of them were printed in the German 
illustrated journals. 

There was a noticeable absence of books and magazines in the 
Dutch libraries concerning American topics. Apart from the 
distribution of American newspapers, reviews, magazines, and 
trade publications, four complete sets of books were obtained 
from the Foreign Section of the Committee on Public Information 
in Washington. These books, written by American experts in 
international law, politics, history, economics, social conditions, 
and various other aspects of Americanism, were presented to 



the Nieuwe of Litteraire Societeit, the largest club in Holland, 
situated in The Hague, and frequented by all important govern- 
mental officers and business men, to the Royal Library in The 
Hague, to the University of Leyden, and to the State University 
of Amsterdam. There were about twenty-five volumes in each set. 

It was a settled policy to act in very close co-operation with 
the Legation, and more especially with Mr. John W. Garrett, 
the Minister in The Hague. As the Committee on Public In- 
formation was in a general sense the mouthpiece of the United 
States government in Holland, I considered it of the utmost 
importance to acquaint myself with the general business of the 
Legation as far as it affected relations between the two countries. 
Although the Committee on Public Information was a separate 
organization, I maintained close contact with the diplomatic 
situation as conceived by the Legation, and in return received 
the advice and assistance of the Minister. Our relations were 
always most cordial, and both of us were able to perform services 
for the other which ordinarily would have lain outside our regular 

Through the kindness of the Minister in allowing us to install 
a motion-picture projector in his residence, we were able to reach 
many of the influential members of the Dutch government and 
of the Allied and neutral diplomatic corps who otherwise would 
never have been available for our motion-picture educational 

I wish to record my own opinion that the activities of the 
Foreign Section of the Committee on Public Information had 
throughout a certain definite constructive value in helping to 
create that firmest assurance against the sudden passionate 
crises that so often lead to war namely, mutual understanding 
and sympathy between Europe and America, based upon the 
freest possible interchange of exact and continuous information, 
in the form of news. This, it seemed to me, was an effort that 
could be made incredibly inspiring. That it often proved so 
in the case of important official and non-official Hollanders to 
whom I presented Holland-American questions, and indeed the 
general international situation, in that light, was sufficient 
justification of my own policy of stating facts about the United 
States, instead of resorting to the essentially weaker European 
method of special pleading. 

In conclusion, I wish to state that the work of the Committee 



on Public Information in Holland was designed to show to the 
Dutch, and, as might be, to the Germans, what Americanism, 
as a moral force in operation, really meant. My work started 
at a very critical time, when neither the dignity of President 
Wilson's position nor the strength of our Americanism that 
supported it was credited either in Holland or within the German 
borders. The details of what was accomplished remain a matter 
of record. In giving to the Dutch public an array of facts 
through American sources, we appealed to both their reason and 
sentiment not through a blatant propaganda, but through 
restrained presentation of the truth to a degree which must 
have lasting effect on the good relations between the Netherlands 
and the United States. 


THE situation in Spain, no less than in Mexico, was 
a very ugly one indeed. The German penetration 
was evident in every department of Spanish activity, 
particularly in the army, and many of the most important 
Spanish papers were receiving German subsidies and pour- 
ing out a steady stream of untruths against America. 
Every effort was made to revive the passions of 1898, and 
nowhere in the whole country was there a single voice 
that spoke for America. The following extracts from 
Madrid papers will show the lengths to which the Germans 
went in their campaign of vilification: 

In my last article I gave a brief account of the horrible crime 
committed by Wilson against Nicaragua. If this were not more 
than enough to show that the Yankee President is disqualified 
in law and in equity to speak to us Europeans in such words 
as he uses in his answer to the Pope if the moral opinion of 
the world had not been excited against the cynicism and un- 
equaled perversities of Wilson, who, though on trial for lese- 
humanite, has tried to constitute himself the judge of Europe 
and America, unfortunately there still exist, to the shame of 
humanity and the dishonor of civilization, other monstrous deeds 
done by Wilson, against which the world has not protested. 
. . . No: we must tear the mask from the hypocrite, Wilson. 

After having carefully examined the sinister chapters of Yankee 
imperialistic history, each and every one of which is a crime 
whose principal author is the actual President Wilson, our heart 


rebels against this man, against this Puritan, who has the bare- 
faced insolence to appear as a mediator between nations. This 
is his role in his speeches and proclamations, but his deeds are 
those of brute force, of war without quarter, of inconceivable 
extermination and devastation. Blushing at the sight of the 
repulsive creature, we ask ourselves the question whether the 
moral sense of humanity has been perverted when it listens to 
the words of the false and evil Wilson. 

In addition to the aspersion of motives there was a con- 
tinual flood of lies into the news columns as a means of 
convincing the Spanish people that Germany was winning 
and that America and the Allies were meeting with dis- 
astrous defeats. By way of example, the following is 
taken from a Barcelona paper of November 10, 1917: 

News comes from Halifax via New York that the North 
American battleship Texas and other units of the North American 
fleet were sunk by a German U-boat 75 miles from the Island 
of Guernsey and 120 miles from Cherbourg at the entrance of 
the Channel, the latter part of September of last year. Eleven 
thousand men found their death in the waves; only 3,260 soldiers 
and 2,585 men of the crew were saved. 

The counter-attack of the Allies had failed utterly. 
Not only were the efforts ill-advised, but there was a natural 
Spanish prejudice against England on account of Gib- 
raltar, and as a Catholic country Spain looked upon 
France as a land of "Jacobins and libertines." 

The first efforts of the Committee were in connection 
with "movies," and the work was intrusted to Frank J. 
Marion, president of the Kalem Company and one of the 
outstanding figures in the motion-picture industry. He 
carried with him a large stock of films, showing America 
at work as well as America at war. Upon arrival in Spain 
he found that neither France nor England was permitted 
to show their motion pictures in public, but by sheer force 



of personality and skilful emphasis upon the "movies" 
that showed agriculture and industry Mr. Marion suc- 
ceeded in having his entire stock passed by the Spanish 
censors. An arrangement was made with a great distribu- 
ting house that sent our film throughout Spain, and from 
the theaters Mr. Marion expanded to the schools and col- 
leges, eventually giving open-air shows in cities and 
villages. Some of the audiences ran as high as nine thou- 
sand people, and when the Spanish garrisons asked to see 
the pictures Mr. Marion was justified in feeling that 
he had succeeded. 

The original plan was to have Mr. Marion inaugurate 
the motion-picture work in Spain and then proceed to 
Italy. No sooner had he left Spain, however, than a 
flood of cables commenced to pour in that convinced us 
that Mr. Marion was the man above all men for the 
Spanish job. As a consequence he was ordered back 
from Rome, appointed commissioner for Spain, and given 
full authority to launch a complete campaign. The fight 
was a long one, and bitterly difficult, but when the tide 
turned it turned with a vengeance. Malaga and Barce- 
lona extended the rights of citizenship to President Wilson, 
city after city in Spain changed the name of some principal 
thoroughfare to that of President Wilson, and the Declara- 
tion of Independence and the addresses of President Wilson 
were used in the public schools of Spain for the reading- 

The following excerpts from Mr. Marion's report, while 
giving little idea of the genius with which he overcame 
obstacles, nevertheless indicate somewhat the sweep of 
his activities: 

Before the commencement of the Committee's work, the 
amount of American news printed in Spanish papers was not 
only small, but concerned entirely with epidemics, disasters, and 
lynchings. We learned later that these lynching items were 



very generously furnished to the Spanish press by the German 
propaganda office. 

From the first gun of the war the enemy had been maintain- 
ing a wireless service from Nauen, which was distributed to the 
Spanish press free of charge. England, France, and Italy were 
maintaining a so-called news service through their embassies, 
but the propaganda element was so strong as to make them 
worthless. The material was sent to the newspapers on embassy 
letter-heads in embassy envelopes by uniformed embassy mes- 
sengers, and in almost every instance the embassies received 
a bill for the printing at a substantial figure per line. 

Most of the leading papers in Spain were under regular sub- 
sidy from the German Embassy, and I was told by my French 
colleagues that space could not be secured in the Spanish press 
without paying for it. A very large sum was suggested as neces- 
sary to carry out the plan. However, I was convinced that 
truthful news items from America would be welcomed by all 
the progressive papers and that the system then in vogue of 
sending out "official" communiques from the various embassies 
virtually compelled the treatment of the material as advertising. 

Looking around, I discovered the Fabra Agency, a Spanish 
press association doing a small business, and I laid before the 
managers a plan to incorporate our cable services into their 
daily "flimsy." I had no difficulty in procuring complete co- 
operation, even to the extent of having their news editor come 
to my office each day so that the translations might be made 
under my direction. 

The venture was a success from the start. As a matter of 
fact, our news service was printed in papers known to be under 
German subsidy. The point of it was that it was real news, 
and interesting news from a newspaper point of view. It was 
what Spain had wanted from America for years, and when the 
service was finally discontinued there was a storm of protest 
from the leading Spanish papers. 

However, the Fabra Agency was not furnishing the service 
to the smaller papers of the provinces which could not afford 
to pay the telegraph tolls, because of the high cost of print 
paper and the scarcity of advertising. Accordingly, with the aid 
of Captain Decker, the naval attache, who placed his various 
secret agents throughout Spain at my disposal, I organized my 
own distributing system and within a short time had the satis- 



faction of seeing the entire press of Spain printing more news 
from America than from the Allied countries combined. 

Following the establishment of the Foreign Press Bureau of 
the Committee in New York my office commenced to receive 
regular weekly instalments of special articles, photographs, 
posters, window-display cards, etc. This material necessitated 
further expansion. Very little that appears in the Spanish news- 
paper carries any influence unless it is signed with the name 
of a writer of acknowledged standing. As a consequence, none 
of the hundreds of special articles that were sent us was put out 
over the names of the American authors responsible for them. 
Each article was given as an exclusive fund of material to some 
Spanish writer, who would rewrite it in his own particular style. 
It would then be published in the Spanish papers over his name 
and with his authority. We were suspected of paying these 
distinguished literary lights for the work, but not a cent ever 
went to a single one of them. My chief translator, Senor Jose 
Armas, for many years correspondent of The New York Herald, 
and Sefiorita Raquel Alonzo, formerly of the Gulick School 
for Girls, performed prodigies of labor and could always be re- 
lied upon to give not only accurate translations, but translations 
of a high literary style. 

One of our original beliefs was in the value of pamphlets. 
A visit to the offices of the British, Italian, and French organi- 
zations soon convinced me that if there had ever been any 
advantage in this phase of work, it had completely disappeared, 
for in nearly every instance the pamphlets, which had been 
prepared at the home offices to be distributed in Spain, were 
used to keep fires going in the grates. The main trouble was 
defective Spanish. A pamphlet which was prepared by my own 
committee in Washington, and sent to me as a sample, was so 
full of errors as to be absolutely useless. Later when large 
window-display photographs were sent to me lettered in Spanish, 
many of these were found to be useless for a similar reason. 

WTiile attending the propaganda conference in Paris, I became 
convinced that the strongest arguments in behalf of the Allied 
cause were embodied in the various official utterances of President 
Wilson, and following that conviction, we used every effort to give 
them widest possible publicity. Not only were they published 
immediately in the Spanish press, but they were printed in pam- 
phlet form as well and sent under letter postage to upward of ten 



thousand prominent Spaniards. So accurate and elegant in 
its diction was Prof. Romero-Navarro's translation of the Presi- 
dent's famous Fourteen Points speech that it was adopted as a 
literary text-book by one of the leading schools for boys in Madrid. 
In the distribution of this and other material we were greatly 
assisted by Senor Amato of the Fabra Agency. As a general 
proposition, pamphleteering had been overdone in Spain by 
both the Allies and the enemy embassies and we did not deem 
it advisable to enter to any great extent into this branch of work. 

Every center of population in Spain from the tiny mountain 
pueblo to the capital city has its atheneum. This is a civic 
center. For the purpose of taking advantage of these forums, 
Prof. M. Romero-Navarro of the Department of Romance 
Languages in the University of Pennsylvania, a Castilian by 
birth and education, and still a Spanish citizen, was persuaded 
to give up his collegiate work and come to Spain for the purpose 
of giving an extended series of lectures. Professor Navarro 
lectured on Spanish artistic, literary, and historic influences 
in America, and against this background painted a splendid 
picture of America's idealism, unselfishness, and military 

A Spaniard likes to have things visualized and the illustrated 
papers were all eager for American photographs. The Committee 
offices in Washington, New York, and Paris sent us a weekly 
supply well selected as to subject and excellent as to photographic 
quality, and as a result we had a virtual monopoly of the illus- 
trated press in Spain. It was not at all unusual for us to have 
two-thirds of the pictures in one illustrated paper. None of 
these pictures was distributed from our own office. We employed 
a local agent, who peddled them from paper to paper as his own 
stock and sold them on their own merits to pro-German as well 
as to pro-Ally papers. 

The poster situation presented one of our greatest problems. 
The German posters were scurrilous and indecent. One most 
widely circulated in Spain purported to represent typical soldiers 
of the various armies opposed to Germany, and in each case the 
type was as brutal and degenerate as the German mind could 
conceive. It would have been easy to plaster Spain with our 
own posters showing the American idea of the Prussian face, 
but we decided that the best answer was to fill the illustrated 
papers and the store-windows with photographs of our manly 
23 341 


doughboys at the front so that the Spaniard could judge for 

For our window-display campaign we started by securing 
the co-operation of American firms doing business in Spain. 
These were very few indeed, but one alone, the Singer Sewing 
Machine Company, put the windows of some seven hundred 
branch stores in Spain at our disposition, saw to the trimming 
of the windows, the display of the material, and even took care 
of the transportation expenses. All we had to do was to deliver 
our material at the main office of this patriotic concern and the 
rest was attended to better than we could have done it ourselves. 

The Eastman Kodak Company and the ^Eolian Company 
were two other American concerns which gave us the continual 
use of their window-display space without cost. 

The central feature of all of our window-display work was a 
handsomely framed group of photographs covering both the 
preparations in America and behind the line scenes in France. 
Hundreds of frames were made up and kept in continuous circu- 
lation, and our own personal observation shows that they in- 
variably attracted a great deal of attention and favorable com- 
ment. On at least two occasions the Eastman Kodak's window 
display of our materials in their handsome store on the Puerta 
del Sol nearly blockaded traffic. 

Quite a notable success was made with the exhibition of Joseph 
Pennell drawings. One of the stanchest friends of America 
in Spain was Sorolla, the great painter. Senor Sorolla personally 
took charge of this collection, patronized its exhibitions through- 
out the leading cities of Spain, and finally saw to it that the 
collection was properly housed in the National Academy of Mod- 
ern Arts in Madrid as the gift of Mr. Pennell to the Spanish 
government. These magnificent pictures showed various phases 
of our preparatory work in shipyards and munition-plants. 
If they had been exhibited in the ordinary way as propaganda 
they would have come under the ban of Spanish censorship, 
but shown as a pure art exhibit under the patronage of Sorolla, 
they met with no objection and everywhere attracted favorable 
comment from the press. 

In July, 1918, we started the publication of a weekly bulletin 
in English, the American News, which was distributed free of 
charge to all Americans whose names we could secure in Spain 
and Portugal. The purpose of this bulletin in the form of a 



small eight-page newspaper was to put the facts of our war 
preparations and achievements into the hands of Americans 
to be disseminated by them in their contact with the Spanish 
people. The editor of this paper was Seward B. Collins, a Prince- 
ton student unable to get into the army or navy, but eager to 
serve. In many respects this was one of our most important 

The spy system maintained by the Germans, and by the 
Allies as well, may only be described as a "scream." After 
about six months' residence in Madrid I happened in at an out- 
of-the-way cafe and met a reliable Spanish friend. 

"What are you doing here? " he asked. 

"Having a cup of coffee." 

"Don't you know what sort of a place you are in?" 

"No, I don't. Tell me." 

"This is the place," he said, "where all the spies get together 
at four o'clock every afternoon and exchange lies to be reported 
to the various embassies the following morning. The German 
spies hand a bunch of inside information from their embassy 
to their friends who are working for the Allies, and in return 
receive a mess of stuff which they hand back to the Ger- 
mans. Thus both sides are satisfied and a prosperous business is 

My friend then pointed out to me the agents of the various 
embassies, enemy agents and Allied agents chatting like the best 
of friends. Scarcely a day went by but that a half-dozen men 
would call upon us to tell the same kind of story ; that they had 
been employed by the German Embassy, that they were poor 
but honest men, that their hearts were really with the Allies, 
and if we would pay them a little more money they would come 
to us and tell us secrets of the greatest importance. 

A book might be written on this phase of outside war-work 
alone. From the standpoint of an American I want to go on 
record as being of the opinion that the spy system as I saw it 
in operation in Spain for eighteen months, both enemy and the 
Ally, is "bunk." There is no other word that so adequately 
expresses it. 

Jack Johnson, the ex-champion, was generally understood to 
be a spy in the employ of the Germans. He claimed to have 
access to the German Embassy, and offered to make a night 
entry and rob it of all its files if by doing so he could only get 



back to his "dear old U. S. A." again. He was told that the best 
way to do that would be to go to France and enlist, upon which 
he faded away. Johnson posed in Spain as a typical American, 
claiming that he was still champion of the world, and was one 
of the worst elements of negative propaganda in Spain. There 
seemed to be little doubt that he was being paid by the Germans 
to keep in a prominent position, and there was seldom a gala 
performance at the opera that did not see Johnson in full evening 
dress seated directly in front of the royal box. There was mur- 
der in the hearts of all Americans, but there was nothing we 
could do. 

The Palace Hotel, where Johnson made his headquarters, was 
a nest of German spies. Every employee of the hotel was a German 
spy. I arrived in Madrid at two o'clock one fine afternoon, with 
Mr. David Harrell of the War Trade Board, Mrs. Harrell, and their 
son David, a lad of seventeen. David stayed behind for a minute 
as we went down the hall, and before we had time to round the 
corner a German spy was in the room, ransacking our bags. 
David reached out of the bathroom door, grabbed the man by the 
collar, and sprawled him headlong into the hall. The man 
struck his head so hard that David was afraid he had hurt him, 
so he gave him two pesetas to square himself and then came down 
and told us about it. During the two weeks we were compelled 
to stay at the hotel, our every step was dogged and our every 
word was listened to. None of us had any information of the 
slightest use to the enemy, but the sleuths were set on us just 
the same. 

Most of the German propaganda was as stupid as their spy 
system. A typical specimen of their work was a comic picture 
book printed in Barcelona by the German propaganda office. 
This was gotten up like our five-cent story editions of Puss in 
Boots or Jack the Giant Killer fifteen or twenty pages of gro- 
tesque figures in color with verses. The title of the book was 
Kings Without a Throne, and a page was devoted to each of the 
petty European rulers who had lost his crown because of defying 
the wrath of the all-powerful one in Berlin. This book was 
printed in enormous numbers and distributed to the children 
as they came out of school. The object-lesson, of course, was 
that if the King of Spain did not recognize German might, he, 
too, would lose his throne. Many of the pictures in this book 
were positively obscene. The German cartoon of President 



Wilson found everywhere in Spain in the form of picture post- 
cards was that of a lantern-jawed maniac. Always in the Ger- 
man window displays the central feature would be the Kaiser, 
Ludendorff, and Hindenburg, portrayed as magnificent and in- 
spiring specimens of manhood, while the representatives of the 
Allies were pictured as degenerates. 

Another example of stupidity was the insertion of a paid 
article in one or two papers in all the principal cities that the 
American army was irreligious, that no Catholic priest was al- 
lowed to function in his sacred vestments, that Pershing and his 
staff were all members of the Liberty Lodge of Masons in Brook- 
lyn, and that the American army in France was being directed 
by the Masonic order, its real purpose the crushing of Cathol- 
icism in Europe. Our answer to this, in illustrated papers and 
window displays, was a magnificent picture of six thousand 
soldiers in uniform attending an open-air mass near the front 
lines in France. 

Of course, the principal accusation against the Americans 
was that all our claims were Yankee bluff, that we had no army, 
couldn't raise an army, couldn't train an army if we could raise 
one, had no officers, and even if we could raise and train an army 
we couldn't transport them, because we had no ships, and even 
if we did get ships, the German submarines would take care of 
them. We sent a delegation of prominent Spanish newspaper 
men to France, headed by the Marquis Valleglesias, owner 
and editor of Epoca, and this delegation returned to Madrid 
after ten days with our troops and announced that, instead of 
bluffing, the Americans had not told one tenth of the story. 

We had so many different schemes at work at the same time that 
the Germans finally became rather bewildered. Prince Ratibor 
and his daughters, the Princesses of Taxis and Thurn, went to a 
ball at the Ritz one night and had a wonderful time dancing to the 
music of "Over There" and all our popular war songs. We were 
supplied with orchestrations of all this music from our foreign ser- 
vice department in New York, and for the last six months of the 
war we had all the bands in Spain playing American music. 

The educational campaign in Spain was not conducted by the 
representative of the Committee on Public Information alone 
and unassisted. In the first place the need of the work was 
recognized by Capt. Benton C. Decker, Chief of Naval Intelli- 
gence, of Spain. When I arrived in Spain every facility of 



Captain Decker's office was put at my disposal. Although 
ordered by the Ambassador to refrain from assisting or helping 
the Committee on Public Information in any way, Captain 
Decker, with a high sense of patriotic duty, insisted upon doing 
so, and was recalled at the request of Ambassador Willard in 
May, 1918. From that time on the work of the Committee on 
Public Information was entirely detached from all other Amer- 
ican agencies, but the utmost encouragement and all needed help 
were given by Captain Crossley, succeeding Captain Decker, 
and later by Capt. Chester Wells, succeeding Captain Crossley. 
Both the Madrid and Barcelona branches of the War Trade 
Board, headed by Mr. Waldmar Chadbourne of the former office, 
and Mr. David Harrell, of the latter, were in the warmest sym- 
pathy with our work, and gave every possible assistance and 
encouragement. Preston Morris Smith of the War Trade Board 
did almost as much work for the Committee on Public Informa- 
tion as for his own department, all without recompense and for 
the good of the cause. 

Among the Spanish gentlemen who aided the cause in many 
and varied ways may be named Senor I. DeMora of The Pic- 
torial Review; Senator Paloma of Seville; Sorolla, the painter; 
Azorin, Ariquistain, and Aznar, three of the most famous edi- 
torial writers; the entire personnel of the Fabra News Agency, 
headed by Senor A. Mato; and Ledesma and Villeseca, the 
motion-picture distributors. 

On my own staff particular credit is due to my secretary and 
personal representative, Senor Jose M. Gay, an American citi- 
zen of Filipino descent, a lawyer and a thorough patriot. Next 
to Senor Gay I am indebted to Mr. Collins and to Prof. Romero- 

Every American in Spain loyally assisted, but particular ser- 
vice was rendered by the gentlemen of the American Chamber 
of Commerce of Barcelona, headed by Messrs. Brewer, van Tress, 
and Preston M. Smith, all of whom could be relied upon to do 
any work that seemed necessary in their territory. And above 
all, the most effective argument was the work of our army and 
navy. As our campaign progressed, the pro-German tendency 
of Spain began perceptibly to fade, and when Spain sent its 
peremptory note to Germany regarding the sinking of Spanish 
merchant-ships we felt that the climax of our efforts had been 



As evidencing the value of the Committee's work in 
Spain, carried forward under the direction of Mr. Marion, 
the Madrid correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor 
wrote as follows under date of October 23, 1918: 

A development of the popular attitude that has been most 
marked in recent months, and has become a significant feature 
of Spanish inclination, has been a sincere, anxious, and deep 
interest that Spain has begun to take in all that concerns the 
United States, and especially on her productive and industrial 
side. . . . Demonstrations by cinema pictures and in other ways 
of how things are done in America have been greatly appreciated. 
So have the object-lessons of what the Americans have been doing 
in the way of metamorphosis in France in various directions. 
An indication of the new state of interest that Spain feels in 
regard to American institutions, systems, and so forth, is fur- 
nished by the long articles that continually appear about them 
in some of the daily newspapers, especially in the newer journals. 
Lectures on similar subjects are increasingly popular, and multi- 
tudinous papers have been read before the members of literary 
and scientific institutions concerning different aspects of Amer- 
ican development. 

In this connection it is of special interest to point out that 
at the present time Senor Miguel-Navarro, professor of Spanish 
language and literature at the University of Pennsylvania, is 
in the country and has been delivering some pointed discourses 
which have received close attention and have been reported in 
detail in the newspapers. 

And on December 11, 1918, The Monitor said: 

What may be called the Wilson cult is truly making aston- 
ishing progress in Spain, as shall be shown. Three months ago 
the President of the United States was known but little to the 
general community. To-day there is hardly a city of any con- 
sequence in Spain whose newspapers are not devoting innumerable 
columns to articles upon his career, his views in general, and his 
present actions, with occasional personal details. 



FROM the very beginning of the World War, Sweden 
was a paradise for the German propagandists, many 
natural causes creating a very intense sympathy for the 
Kaiser's cause both among the people generally and in 
the government itself. Norway, by reason of the de- 
struction of her shipping by German submarines, was 
strongly pro-Ally, but in Denmark the situation was almost 
as bad as in Sweden. In the first place there was the 
delicacy of Denmark's position proceeding from geograph- 
ical considerations that made her absolutely helpless. 
When Denmark lost Schleswig, and the Kiel Canal was 
built, there disappeared the last hope of successfully de- 
fending Copenhagen from attack by the Germans. A 
fleet of airships sailing from Warnemunde, the German 
Baltic port, could lay Copenhagen in ruins in five hours. 
German big guns could bombard Copenhagen from the 
Baltic. They could also sweep the peninsula of Jutland 
from one side to the other. Therein was the secret of the 
Danish fear. 

The Germans had been unloading propaganda on Den- 
mark for three years, working through a strong organi- 
zation that included a number of young authors who had 
been unsuccessful in having their works published. The 
Germans tempted them by telling them they would see 
their names in print and offered free publication for the 



books they wrote. In among these books were cleverly 
sandwiched others full of German propaganda. These books 
were issued from a large publishing-house and later another 
smaller firm was added. They had a clientele of from 
one hundred thousand to one hundred and fifty thousand. 
The Germans also tempted newspapers which were known 
to be in financial difficulties, by offering them paying 
advertising contracts and a supply of printing paper at 
considerably less cost than they were able to get it from 
Allied sources. This paper was to be delivered free at 
the plant, and ink and printing-machines were also offered. 
The leader of the German propaganda was Louis vom 
Kohl, of an old Danish family, and a clever author". He 
and his associates bought up a chain of eight Danish maga- 
zines, and while none of the more influential ones fell into 
their clutches, the publicity influence wielded by the 
group was very real. 

To Denmark we sent George Edward Waldemar Riis, 
an able newspaper man himself, but possessing added 
values by being the son of that great Danish-American, 
Jacob Riis. When Mr. Riis arrived in Denmark he found 
no adequate conception of America's motives of the goal 
we sought to attain, of what we were capable of doing 
under pressure of great necessity, and what our partici- 
pation and final triumph would mean to the small nations 
of Europe. When his work ceased Denmark understood 
us as never before. America's work had been carried 
into every nook and corner of the kingdom. The spirit 
of America had been photographed for the Danes by word 
of mouth, by written article, and by picture, so that they 
saw us clearly and comprehended us. Mr. Riis found 
them looking through glasses darkly. He left them with 
a new vision of our people, our activities, and the lofty 
principles which governed us. Our material appeared 
in every publication of any importance in the land and our 



pictures were displayed in towns which had never seen 
American war film. He won powerful newspapers to our 
side; he made people our lasting friends, for he taught 
them that our fight was for Denmark as well as ourselves; 
that America had no ax to grind; that we sought gain of 
neither land nor gold; that we strove to attain only peace 
and universal justice. An idea of the activities may be 
gained by these extracts from the report of Mr. Riis : 

Denmark was tired of propaganda when I came and if we had 
attempted to put out material plainly tagged as such it would 
have gone into the waste-basket. I adopted a new line of en- 
deavor. I went to the editors and told them frankly what we 
were aiming at. I hid nothing. I said we were conducting a 
news bureau. Before I did that I went to the chief censor, Mr. 
Marinus Yde (one of the fairest, ablest men I ever met), and was 
perfectly frank with him. I showed him our files and said he 
might come back and look at our office at any time. We strove 
to, and we did, convince the people that we were there not so 
much to advertise our wares as to bring about a better relation- 
ship, a mutual understanding between our country and theirs 
as to the aims, objects, and purposes of each. Frankness on 
our part begot frankness on their part. 

We did not feed the Danes cut-arid-dried propaganda. We 
carefully selected those articles which we knew the Danish pub- 
lications would be eager for. In this I had the invaluable aid 
of Mr. Herman Bente, my assistant director, who knew the likes 
and dislikes of the Danish press all through the land. We let 
the Danish editors know that we were running a straight news 
bureau that we had news of interest about America and what 
was going on behind the scenes there. We did not urge it on 
them. They could take it or leave it, as they chose. They 
took it and called for more. At first we went to them. Then 
they came to us. We put the breath of life in dry material. 
We put an American journalistic punch in it. We aimed to tell 
the story of the pictures in short, crisp sentences so that they 
would hit the reader between the eyes. When we were sending 
over three hundred thousand troops a month I figured out how 
many men that would mean departing from our shores every 
minute, and wrote a short story stating that every minute so 



many men were going out from the States to serve under the flag. 
There was need of this. The Germans had said that we were 
not able to send an army. They said that such troops as we had 
were ill equipped. We were able to convince the Danes to the 

When the great American offensive at St. Mihiel began we 
received, just in time, a picture of Pershing, but no written 
matter with it. The people of Denmark were unable to visualize 
Pershing. What manner of man was he? What was his previous 
military experience? What had he done that he had earned the 
right to lead the American armies? From my material I wrote a 
column story which appeared, along with the picture, on the first 
page of the second largest newspaper in Denmark, Berlingske 
Tidende, the time of the publication fitting in with the beginning 
of the offensive. 

When I found, on first coming, that nobody knew just what 
was going on behind the scenes at home, I sat down and wrote 
an article telling what I had seen of the strength and power of 
our war preparations, letting them know that we did not want 
this war, but when we found that it had to be fought we became 
one great workshop in which all the people were working unitedly 
to end the war as quickly and as effectively as possible. When 
I found that the Danes had only an imperfect idea of President 
Wilson, how he rose to fame, what he meant in the life of the 
people, how he was trying to interpret the spirit of his country, 
just what he stood for and what he strove to attain, I wrote a 
three-column story, "Wilson, Hope of the World,'* in which I 
endeavored properly to interpret him and his principles. Along 
with it I tried to mirror the spirit of my people. That story was 
favorably commented on all over Denmark. It was not only 
printed in one of the largest of the Copenhagen newspapers, 
Berlingske Tidende, but ran the rounds of the provincial press. 
It was published in four provincial papers, four of the leading 
papers, and among others in the leading newspaper of Ribe, 
three miles from the German border. That was just where I 
wanted to get it. 

I made several speeches in Copenhagen and in the provinces 
after they had asked me to do so. I delivered one at a large 
concentration camp for soldiers at Sandholm. I was asked to, 
and did, deliver one in the auditorium of the chief Copenhagen 
newspaper, Politiken, just before I left. I made myself a personal 



friend of the editors. I called on some of them almost daily. I 
went to the provinces, and to the editors there I explained what 
we were trying to do. These calls were followed by an encourag- 
ing result in the greater use of our material. 

We kept careful track of what the newspapers were saying, 
either to our detriment or to our credit. When they said any- 
thing which was incorrect, and we knew it to be incorrect, we 
went after them. When one newspaper, which had been printing 
erroneous reports about us, wrote vicious subheads on a news 
article dealing with an address delivered by the President and 
referred to him as the "Trustland's President," I called them to 
account, and the second editor came to my office and apologized. 
He did more. A two-column article was written praising our 
work. The newspaper swung over so that it took with eagerness 
articles sent out by us, attributing them to our Committee. This 
newspaper published two columns of Justice Clark's important 
decision on the eight-hour law and credited it to our Committee. 
The story went the rounds of the Social Democratic papers. 

Every magazine of any prominence using pictures published 
ours. We had more pictures in the magazines than any of the 
other Allied bureaus were able to show. Sometimes half a dozen 
such pictures would appear in an issue of a single magazine hav- 
ing a circulation of 200,000. Many hundreds of pictures were 
sent out by us through the Pressens Illustrations Bureau, which 
serves between 200 and 300 publications in Scandinavia, and this 
material, sent out in Copenhagen, was published in Norway 
as well. 

Copenhagen was filled with our pictures. They were posted 
in places conveniently located. The Germans afterward fol- 
lowed us up and put up pictures where we did. We put them 
up on side-streets where pictures had not been shown before and 
in outlying districts. We sent them to provincial towns, such as 
Aarhus, Esbjerg, Ribe, Kallundborg, Roskilde, and other places. 
We grouped them so that people could see the gradual develop- 
ment of small-arms manufacture, of the progress of the Browning 
machine-gun, of the flying-machine, and we put red-lettered 
captions and stories under them which conveyed a ready lesson 
to the man in the street. These pictures were viewed daily by 

We gave pictures to the British Legation to be used in their 
illustrated booklets, and to lecturers. We even paid for lantern 



slides for such men as Winding, one of the prominent journalists 
on the staff of Poiitiken, who had been a correspondent at the 
front and who afterward delivered lectures telling what American 
troops were doing in the war, what they were like, and the spirit 
which actuated them. 

We furnished school-teachers with printed material in the shape 
of articles or pamphlets, likewise writers. We sent a volume of 
President Wilson's messages to a large publishing-house, which 
got them out in Danish. 

We took up the Schleswig question at a time when scores of 
persons came to see me to ask that the United States help to adjust 
the Schleswig problem on a basis of justice to the Danes, and I 
sent home cables, articles, and pamphlets dealing exhaustively 
with the entire Schleswig question. I wrote home about it, 
and even sent a letter to the President, pointing out that the 
people of the small neutral nation which had suffered so griev- 
ously looked to him in the wistful hope that he would right an 
ancient wrong and strike off the shackles of the Danes in Schleswig 
who for fifty long years had felt the tyranny and oppression of 
Prussian rule. 

When Mr. Edgar Sisson's Bolshevist disclosures first reached 
Denmark by cable, I got the complete text, and that night I 
called a meeting of my staff and instructed them to go get out 
the entire text on our duplicating machine first thing in the morn- 
ing. I invited the chief censor to sit in on our talk. It was not 
necessary for us to get it out on the duplicating machine, for the 
newspapers were impressed with its extreme importance as news 
and the next day all the Danish newspapers gave it all the space 
that was possible. The Social-Demokraten, the strongest organ 
among the Socialists of Denmark, alone published eight columns 
of the revelations. The newspapers continued to publish the 
story for three days. Later we got rid of between ten thousand 
and fifteen thousand copies of the disclosures printed in pam- 
phlet form, part in Danish and part in Russian. The Russians 
who were combating Bolshevism snapped them up eagerly. 

We published three pamphlets in Denmark. One was by 
Booth Tarkington, dealing with our awakening; another was 
by Ernest Poole and described the spirit of the army; a third 
was an appeal to the reason of the German people written by 
a Captain Helwig, born in Germany, but an American serving 
as a captain in our army. 



The last-named pamphlet was published in German. It was 
distributed in the last months of the war. From one place alone 
we received reports that it had been given into the hands of about 
three hundred Germans. Copies of that pamphlet were left 
at all hotels and restaurants frequented by Germans. We sent 
many into Germany. 

I suggested and helped to arrange the visit to our country 
of the twelve Scandinavian journalists. That visit did much 
to cement the friendly relations between ourselves, Norway, 
Sweden, and Denmark. When they returned they wrote many 
admirable articles showing a ready understanding of our people 
and our spirit and correcting such impressions as that we were 
a dollar-chasing land engrossed merely in our own selfish con- 
siderations. Emil Marot, one of the Danes and a member of 
Parliament, gave, on his return, a series of twenty-five lectures 
in which he explained us to his people. 

I have seen a change of feeling come over people who had not 
understood us before. I have seen a new understanding of Pres- 
ident Wilson come into the minds of the Danes, so that they 
placed him on a plane beside their greatest national heroes. 
I have known them to cut out the photographs of him sent out 
by us, which appeared in Danish papers, and place them in a 
sort of family shrine. Yes, I have known the rough farmers 
to do that on the lonely heath lands. I know that the people 
of the small neutral nations of Europe, soul-sick with war, yearn- 
ing for an enduring peace, have looked to him in the hour of 
trial as the great deliverer, the Moses in a wilderness of trouble. 
They looked to him to lead them to the light, to lasting peace, 
to bind the nations in the great brotherhood of which so 
many millions dream. They believed in him and in us when 
I left. 

Mr. Eric Palmer, the Committee's news representative 
in Sweden and Norway, won to success, as did Mr. Riis, 
and from first to last enjoyed the powerful and in- 
telligent support of the American Minister, Mr. Ira Nel- 
son Morris. Finland also came within the scope of Mr. 
Palmer's activities, and the following tribute from Thorn- 
well Haynes, our consul at Helsingfors, is not without its 
own interest: 



So far the results in Finland of the work of the Committee 
on Public Information have been most gratifying, especially 
considering the irritating obstacles to be overcome in the way 
of pre-existing German propaganda. In whatever direction 
the faces of the Finns were turned, there flourished German arti- 
cles and maps and pictures, German books and newspapers, even 
little Finns toddling in and out of newly established German 
kindergartens. Bookstore windows contained more German 
literature than Swedish or Finnish, and such superior German 
war maps were broadcasted that even Allied consulates bought 
them for reference. A daily paper, printed in German and re- 
ceiving financial support from the Finnish Treasury, made its 
appearance in the capital every evening. German uniforms 
were seen everywhere, Finnish-German clubs were formed and 
German banks established. In fact, as far as propaganda was 
concerned, Finland was a German vassal state. 

The work done by the Committee on Public Information, 
though single-handed and alone, has contributed wonderfully 
toward saving the situation. In this respect I consider the dis- 
crimination shown in the selection of the news by far the most 
deserving. It has been done so as to create no irritation, and yet 
quietly demonstrated its force in supplanting William by Wilson 
and Militarism by America. 

While of course the turning of battle on the western front 
was the immediate cause of the turning of public opinion in 
Finland toward the Entente, the work done by the Committee 
has most effectively cleared the way and prepared a suitable 
soil wherein the unwillingly changed public opinion can reason- 
ably and conscientiously grow. 

Guy Croswell Smith, just out of Russia, was left in Stock- 
holm by Mr. Sisson in 1918 and given charge of film dis- 
tribution in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. This brief 
extract from his report will indicate the manner in which 
he handled his problem: 

Upon investigation of the situation I found that an immense 
amount of German propaganda and drama films was being 
presented in the picture theaters throughout these countries. 
The Scandinavians like films very much and to the large attend- 



ance at the five hundred-odd theaters was constantly being 
conveyed a broad influence always, of course, for the German 
point of view. The propaganda films showed the success of 
the Germans and Austrians, scenes in German cities, munition- 
factories, etc., all tending to demonstrate how Germany was 
winning the war. And there was absolutely no representation 
as to what the United States was doing. In Sweden particu- 
larly the German film propaganda was especially damaging 
toward the existence of any ideas of fair neutrality for the reason 
that the Swedes were practically all inclined to be pro-German 
and the influence of these films was a constant stimulus in the 
same direction. I foresaw that our films would have to be 
forced upon the theaters and distributing companies in the 
same way. 

The supply of American drama films in the country was limited 
on account of the embargo that had existed, which for a time 
had excluded the possibility of importing films from the United 
States. This condition had made it easy for the German film- 
producers to get in their product, but they sold only with 
the provision that some German propaganda subjects would 
be taken with the drama films. 

Shortly before my arrival in Stockholm, the export prohibition 
on American drama films had been provisionally raised and ship- 
ments again began to come, addressed to the American legations 
in the various countries. Before releasing these to the con- 
signees, they signed agreements that the films would never be 
shown in any program with a German drama or propaganda film 
and that one reel of American "war stuff'* would always be shown 
with them. This agreement they in turn made with the theaters 
before distributing. The largest three companies controlling 
theaters in Scandinavia further agreed that they would never 
permit any films previously received to be shown in the same 
program with German subjects. Inasmuch as American 
films were much more popular with the public on account of 
their superiority, the effect of these agreements was quickly 
evident. German films were gradually forced out to such an 
extent that in three months after my arrival it was difficult to 
find a theater showing German drama films, and the German 
propaganda films had been completely driven out and replaced 
by our official films. I kept close check on the programs 
throughout the three countries and in the few instances where 



theaters did not keep their agreement and showed a German 
film their ability to get American film was discontinued. During 
the eight months I was in Scandinavia I distributed about 
one hundred thousand feet of official films. This included 
American industrial subjects; Hearst-Pathe and Universal 
weeklies showing the Allies' war activities and events in the 
United States; "Pershing's Crusaders" and the Allied War 
Review. These pictures were first shown in the best theaters 
of the capitals Stockholm, Christiania, and Copenhagen and 
then went in rotation to the smaller houses in these cities and 
afterward throughout the other cities and towns of the three 
countries. Thus, where previously this immense number of 
theater-goers had seen the war news only through German eyes, 
they now saw America and Americans at home, at work, and 
under arms, laying aside the pursuits of peace to fight in defense 
of freedom. 



CHINESE dislike of England and Chinese hatred of 
Japan pointed clearly to the fact that the Allied 
fight for public opinion in China would have to be made 
by America and Americans. The Germans had carried 
on a very extensive and expensive propaganda, and, while 
unmarked by any particular cleverness, the work swept 
forward to success on the wave of anti-Japanese, anti- 
British feeling. A principal feature of the Hun activity 
was a news agency that supplied a daily cable service from 
Berlin to the Chinese press. Pay was taken in the form of 
advertising space, which in turn was allotted to the German 
houses doing business in China. As a consequence, both 
news and advertising columns were regularly poisoned, and 
China stood in danger of seeing the World War through 
Hun spectacles only. 

Reuters, the official news agency, was in control of the 
field as far as Allied information was concerned. All 
American news, for instance, went into China by way of 
London, and the part sent on by Reuters dealt mainly 
with our crimes, corruptions, and commercial hypocrisies. 
Our policies were never referred to except when British 
interests were affected. In addition to Reuters there was 
a separate propaganda organization that seemed to have 
no other object than to preach Great Britain's preponder- 
ating part in the war. This work was directed from three 



headquarters: (a) the British colony of Hongkong; (6) 
the British Legation in Peking; (c) the British consulate 
in Shanghai. Through the four years of the war these 
three agencies worked at cross-purposes, often in opposition 
to one another, and at the end of the war were still quarrel- 
ing over which one of the three should run the show. 

Under these circumstances, the plan of campaign was 
different in each place. In Shanghai the work was turned 
over to a clerk in the consulate, who worked under the 
direction of Reuters' agent and the British consul. In 
the early part of the war they established a daily Chinese 
newspaper in Shanghai, at a cost said to be about $125,000. 
A great deal of British advertising was diverted- to this 
paper, but it was not a financial success and reverted to 
Chinese ownership after the armistice. They also pub- 
lished a fortnightly war magazine, distributed through 
British firms. In the establishment of these publications 
the British ignored existing mediums and created more or 
less resentment among Chinese publishers. A daily resume 
of war events was made and telegraphed to some fifty or 
sixty points in the Yangtze Valley to Britishers, who 
undertook the work of translating these messages and 
securing their publication in the Chinese press. This 
resume was also published in handbill form and seven 
thousand distributed in Shanghai each afternoon. In 
Peking a similar resume was sent to the newspapers and 
once a week a poster was issued giving the resume of the 
week's news. This poster was put up by the police in 
Peking and was posted in the waiting-rooms of the British- 
controlled railways. The Hongkong committee published 
daily an official bulletin in English giving all Reuters' 
telegrams. This was sent to Chinese officials. 

Through a connection between Reuters and the Kokusai 
(the official Japanese news agency) the Japanese were able 
to present their views in China, as news sent from Tokio 



is distributed by Reuters. This means that when there 
was a controversial issue between Japan and America, 
Japanese views were given the widest publicity in China, 
while American opinions were learned only after they had 
been edited in London. This arrangement between the 
Kokusai and Reuters was similar to that between the 
Associated Press and Reuters, with this important differ- 
ence that Japanese news was sent direct to China, 
while American news sent by the Associated Press had to 
come through London. 

In addition to this arrangement with Reuters, the 
Japanese originated a semi-official news agency which sup- 
plied Far Eastern news to Chinese publications. Japanese 
consuls acted as correspondents for this agency, the de- 
spatches being sent in code. In the treaty ports the Jap- 
anese adopted the policy of registering Chinese news- 
papers at the Japanese consulate, thereby giving them 
protection against Chinese officials, and gaining more or 
less control over the papers. In addition the Japanese 
owned a number of Chinese papers and secretly controlled 
several English-language papers by means of loans and 
subsidies. None of the Japanese propaganda was directed 
toward creating a sentiment favorable to the Allies, but 
to the furtherance of Japan's aims in China. 

French propaganda was directed from Shanghai and 
consisted principally in the publication of a fortnightly 
magazine of about sixteen pages, containing pictures and 
articles about the war. Several posters were issued. 
About two months before the signing of the armistice the 
French wireless station in Shanghai got in touch with the 
Lyons wireless station and received French communiques 
daily. These were handed to Reuters for distribution to 
the English - language press and were translated into 
Chinese by the French consulate and sent out to a list 
of about thirty Chinese papers. 



For reasons that must be obvious, Allied propaganda had 
failed when we entered the field. Our first approach was 
through Dr. Paul Reinsch, our Minister in Peking, one 
of the five or six members of the diplomatic service that 
gave the Committee unfailing assistance instead of enmity 
and sabotage. Through his arrangement, our wireless 
service was taken out of the air by the legation station 
in Peking, and was also intercepted at Shanghai by the 
French municipal wireless station. In both places the 
service was handed to Reuters for distribution, but we 
soon discovered that this distribution was anything but 
adequate. Mr. Carl Crow, a brilliant correspondent and 
a man who knew China and the Chinese intimately and 
sympathetically, was soon appointed to be the Committee's 
commissioner, and these excerpts from his report tell the 
story of his conquest of the problem. 

After a survey of the situation and consultation with a num- 
ber of Americans we came to the conclusion (1) that Reuters, 
because of its attitude toward American news and its indiffer- 
ence to the Chinese press, could not be depended on to give the 
American wireless news any wide distribution; (2) that while 
the publication of the American news in the English-language 
press of the Far East is of comparatively little importance, 
it is of the very greatest importance that it be published in Chi- 
nese newspapers; (3) that there was no existing agency for the 
distribution of the news to the Chinese press and that one must 
be created. 

In carrying out the above program a company of American busi- 
ness and professional men organized the Chinese-American News 
Agency (Oriental News Agency) for work with the Chinese 
press. In the mean time I engaged a staff of translators and 
trained them to the very difficult work of preparing translations of 
American war news which would be intelligible to the average 
newspaper reader. In due time the news agency began sending 
out its daily report, which included the American wireless news, 
special articles, Chinese news, etc. The report went to more 
than three hundred Chinese papers and was published in part 



in practically all of them. There was no other news agency 
of a national character in China and this agency developed into 
an organization occupying the Chinese field as fully as the 
Associated Press occupies the field at home. The only aid given 
the agency by the Committee on Public Information was to 
supply it with the translations for distribution to the newspapers 
and to pay it for the performance of specific functions (distri- 
bution of pictures, presidential addresses, etc.) which the agency 
could perform economically. In working out the above plans 
I was in close co-operation with Doctor Reinsch and Mr. J. B. 
Powell, with whom I consulted regarding every phase of my work. 

In order to distribute literature and collect information about 
Chinese in the interior it was necessary to secure the co-operation 
of a number of volunteer agents. These were secured, about 
four hundred in number, from the ranks of the American mission- 
aries, teachers, and Standard Oil employees. These men under- 
took their work with great enthusiasm and constituted an active 
body of agents of tremendous value. It would have been im- 
possible for any other country to organize a body of this sort 
because no other country was so ably represented in the interior 
of China. 

Through the courtesy of the Standard Oil Company, the Brit- 
ish-American Tobacco Company, the Singer Sewing Machine 
Company, and other American concerns in China, we had at 
our disposal several thousand stations where pictures and posters 
could be displayed. These stations were the sales agencies of 
the above concerns in almost every town and village in the 
country, exceptionally well located on busy streets where pict- 
ures received the greatest possible attention. 

I collected the principal addresses of President Wilson and 
gave them to the Commercial Press, a large Chinese publishing- 
house, with the suggestion that they bring out a Chinese edition. 
This was published, and the first edition was all sold out in two 
weeks, compelling a second edition. This volume became the 
best seller in China, and the Commercial Press is pushing the 
sale of the book to Chinese schools. 

As a means of promptly reaching the ruling class in China, 
it was decided to compile a mailing-list, which would comprise 
the names of the real Chinese leaders of thought in each com- 
munity. The help of the volunteer agents mentioned above 
was enlisted and the work of compiling the list went forward 



rapidly. I included the names and addresses of all members 
of the Provincial Assembly, all members of the Chamber of 
Commerce, all officials of or above the rank of magistrate, and 
all Chinese scholars. In the end we had the most valuable 
mailing-list in China, consisting of about twenty-five thousand 
names. As far as funds at our disposal permitted, I sent to each 
name on this list a copy of President Wilson's addresses. 

It will be noted that the program of work outlined above 
contemplated propaganda among the ruling classes. It did not 
take into consideration the student classes, because funds were 
not sufficient for work in both. The students are more easily 
reached and influenced, and if it were possible to plan and carry 
out a program to extend over a period of years, great good 
would result from it in the future. The most obvious and direct 
way of reaching the students would be by distribution of liter- 
ature in both English and Chinese to mission and government 
schools. There are great possibilities in a sustained program 
among the students. The text-book publishing industry is at 
present undeveloped and it would be possible to secure the use 
in Chinese schools of text-books planned and edited by Americans. 
This would not involve any expenditures for publication, as the 
books would be published and their use developed by Chinese 
publishing-houses. Some American university should send a 
man to China for several years to make a study of this situation. 
He should be supplied with funds enough to enable him to organ- 
ize a translation bureau. The result of his studies would doubt- 
less disclose many ways in which America can be of benefit to 
China in developing her educational system. Several American 
text-book companies have interested themselves in this field, 
but chiefly as a market for English text-books. 

Japan, strangely enough, presented few problems. In 
the first place, Ambassador Morris put his personal and 
official influence behind the Committee at the very outset 
and drove through an arrangement that worked splendidly. 
The daily Compub service was turned over to the Kokusai, 
the official Japanese news agency, for translation and dis- 
tribution to the Japanese press. A clipping bureau main- 
tained a constant check on the operation and never at 
any time did we have cause to complain, either as to the 



distribution itself or with respect to the manner in which 
the Japanese newspapers printed it. 

In the matter of films, we found that the Universal 
Company had built up a good Oriental business, and the 
Ambassador entered into a working agreement with its 
representative, Mr. Cochran, that gave us the services of 
an established organization. Mr. Cochran gave generously 
of his titne and effort and the Committee's pictures became 
feature attractions in the provinces as well as in the cities. 



SOUTH AMERICA and Central America, like Mexico 
and Spain, were parade-grounds for the agents of 
Germany. Colombia and Venezuela were bitterly hostile, 
and in every other country there was a distinct distrust 
of our sincerity and a very lively fear of our strength. 
In every city and in every town Germans were prominent 
in business, and the constant stream of money from Berlin 
subsidized newspapers and individuals to make a daily and 
direct attack upon the United States. 

Lieut. F. E. Ackerman, a newspaper man of wide ex- 
perience, was borrowed from the navy and sent on a tour 
of South America to study methods of news distribution 
and to organize offices for the Committee. He visited 
Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Lima, Valparaiso, 
Buenos Aires, and numerous other South American cities, 
and with the hearty co-operation of American diplomatic 
and consular officials soon had an intensive publicity 
campaign on throughout South America. 

The commissioner selected for Argentina, Uruguay, and 
Paraguay was H. H. Sevier, a newspaper man of Austin, 
Texas, and from his headquarters in Buenos Aires he 
planned and perfected a publicity organization that swept 
through the cities and reached down to the very villages. 
There is not space for the whole report of Mr. Sevier, but 
organization and results may be gathered from the fol- 
lowing excerpts: 


The value and importance of such a service may be more fully 
appreciated if it is understood that before the advent of your 
Committee the amount of news of any character concerning 
the United States carried by South American publications was 
practically negligible. The European news agencies occupied 
the field without opposition of consequence. The French and 
English associations naturally devoted their services to the 
interests of their own countries. The affairs of the United 
States, even our war activities, were treated lightly. Under 
subsidies of the German government and German capitalists 
three daily newspapers were published in Buenos Aires. One, 
WTitten in the Spanish language, was a positive force, because 
of the skill with which it distorted the facts and the cleverness 
of its editorial misrepresentation of the cause of the Allies. The 
other two, printed in German, gave aid and comfort to the 
Teutonic element. 

The percentage of literacy in Argentina and Uruguay, particu- 
larly, is remarkably high, and every newspaper of any impor- 
tance at all in those countries has a considerable following. 
The good will and co-operation of the leading journals were 
secured at the beginning, and within a reasonable length of time 
90 per cent, of the publications, of all classes in the countries 
named, were receiving and using our service. The newspapers 
of the cities and towns carried daily a specially prepared cable 
service covering official announcements from Washington, the 
development of our war preparations, and the extent of our 
participation in the actual fighting; the progress of our ship- 
building, munitions manufacture, and the financial, moral, and 
other aid extended to our allies. These news stories were fre- 
quently played up with illustrations of our air and sea craft, 
our camps, cantonments, and trenches, our factories, and our 
guns; and with photographs of our statesmen, soldiers, and citi- 
zen workers in every branch of war activity. 

Weekly and class publications were regularly supplied with 
special articles and illustrations, carefully prepared to meet 
their particular requirements and style. The triweekly, semi- 
weekly, and weekly press of the provinces was furnished with 
condensed news stories assembled from the more important 
developments of the period between publication. 

It should be mentioned that all news stories and special arti- 
cles were translated by experts in our offices, and always in the 


language of the publication receiving our service. During the 
periods of important military operations and through the excit- 
ing times preceding the armistice a day and night service was 
maintained, with our offices in constant touch with the great 
newspapers of the three countries. In submitting our matter 
we invariably stipulated that it was offered for reproduction 
either in total or in part, at the discretion of the editor, and that 
no credit to the Committee was necessary. In many instances, 
however, our credit line was carried, and in no instance, to our 
knowledge, was our matter garbled or falsely construed. 

An important feature of the work of your Buenos Aires office 
was the preparation, printing, and distribution of pamphlets, 
posters, circulars, etc. A list of all American business concerns 
was secured. A card index indicated how much matter each 
could effectively distribute. The packing-houses, banks, ship- 
pers, merchants, and selling agencies cheerfully agreed to inclose 
our literature in their daily correspondence. Many patriotic 
institutions and individuals took from us copies of the speeches 
of President Wilson and other leaders by the thousands, forward- 
ing them to their representatives and customers in all sections 
of the country. The ever-increasing demand from these sources 
indicated the interest with which America's message was being 

The photograpns sent from Washington were captioned and 
catalogued on their arrival. They were used in profusion in 
newspapers and magazines both with and without explanatory 
articles. In addition, and perhaps most effective, were the 
exhibitions of the pictures in public places. For such displays 
some one hundred or more light, attractive frames were designed, 
each frame carrying twelve photographs. These were placed 
in the show windows of the largest business houses, the lobbies 
of the leading hotels, and the reading-rooms of various social, 
commercial, and working-men's clubs. In every city or town 
of any importance one or more of these frames was conspicuously 
located. By a carefully worked-out system we were able to 
change these displays once a week. 

In the offices of the Committee files of such American news- 
papers, magazines, trade journals, etc., as were sent us or could 
be purchased were kept. These, together with our government 
reports, the Official Bulletin, authoritative articles on banking, 
industrial, manufacturing, agricultural, and other subjects by 



American experts, were at the disposition of the general public. 
From them data were obtained by educators, journalists, and 
students. We wrote articles on given subjects and assembled 
facts and figures for addresses delivered to various organizations 
and societies. Editors of Argentine, Spanish, French, Italian, 
and British publications were constantly supplied with material 
which was desired in order to answer statements of enemy 

Personal association with leaders of South American thought 
was not overlooked or neglected. Your commissioner was 
frequently extended the privilege of addressing the universities 
and schools in response to requests from the student bodies 
for information concerning "North America." A sincere desire 
on the part of many students to attend universities in the United 
States, in order that they might perfect themselves in the English 
or "North American" language and study our life, our laws, 
and our business methods, was developed, and at the suggestion 
and with the assistance of Dr. Ernesto Nelson of Buenos Aires 
and Doctor Galves of the University of Chile a plan for an 
exchange of North American for South American students was 
worked out and about to be placed in operation when the activi- 
ties of the Committee were suspended. 

Your commissioner is under obligations to Mr. Frederico 
Crocker of Montevideo, who acted as local representative in 
Paraguay; to William Dawson, Esq., American consul at Monte- 
video, and to the American colony of Uruguay in general. The 
assistance of Hon. Daniel Mooney, American Minister, and the 
American residents of Ascension, was of much value in our efforts 
in Paraguay. 

For the work in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia the Com- 
mittee was fortunate in securing the services of C. V. 
Griffis, a resident of Lima for six years, and the head of 
an established publicity organization in the form of The 
West Coast Leader, an Anglo-American newspaper. Aside 
from Mr. Griffis's own ability and expert knowledge, he 
placed the services of the Leader organization its agents, 
correspondents, and friends entirely at the disposition 
of the Committee, obtaining for its material a compre- 
hensive circulation in territory which would otherwise 


have been difficult and expensive to cover. Thus in ad- 
dition to telegraph and mail service reaching the important 
centers, such as Lima and Arequipa in Peru, La Paz and 
Oruro in Bolivia, and Guayaquil and Quito in Ecuador, the 
pamphlet and pictorial publications were sent broadcast 
through the more remote provinces of the three republics 
to the isolated mining-camps, the scattered estates 
to points as widely separated and as difficult to reach as 
Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Trinidad in Bolivia, Moyo- 
bamba and the Chanchamayo Valley in Peru, Esmeraldas 
and Cuenca in Ecuador. 

To quote from the report of Mr. Griffis: 

It is not my desire in any way to overestimate the importance 
of the results obtained by the work conducted in this territory. 
Accurate analysis of these results is, of course, impossible. Yet 
it cannot be denied that, as a result of the few months' intensive 
work undertaken by the Committee in this field, the mass of 
people in all sections of the country have acquired a far more 
graphic and comprehensive idea of the power and position of 
the United States, as well as the policies and ideals of the Amer- 
ican people, than they ever had before. These conceptions could 
not possibly have been obtained through ordinary channels, 
and it is safe to say that the Peruvians and their neighbors have 
a much clearer idea of the war efforts and achievements of the 
States than they have of the efforts and achievements of any 
of our European allies, though the latter were engaged in the war 
for a much longer period. This clearer conception is due almost 
wholly to Compub activities, for other agencies of intercommu- 
nication made no radical departure in their established policies 
to meet the radically altered conditions. 

What I regard as concrete evidence of some of the statements 
made in the above paragraph is supplied by the magnificent 
response of Lima, a city of less than 200,000 inhabitants, to the 
Fourth Liberty Loan, with a total of $700,000. Lima is far from 
being a wealthy city, and this subscription was $400,000 more 
than the maximum set by the committee in charge of the sale 
of bonds. But the investing public here had become thoroughly 
convinced of the boundless resources and impregnable economic 


strength of the States. They could not evade absorbing that 
impression. The Committee photographs setting forth American 
industrial resources were constantly surrounded by interesting 
crowds, while the morning and afternoon paperr invariably 
carried their columns of supplementary data. As a first-hand 
observer of Latin-American opinion during the past few years 
I would say that the old conception of the United States held 
in 1913, an admixture of Mexican and Colombian suspicions 
and general distrust, has given entirely way in 1919 to a wholly 
new conception and realization of the full magnitude of American 
power and policy. 

The most important and perhaps the most influential feature 
of the Compub service from the point of view of this particular 
field was the daily cable service. Owing to arrangements 
effected by cable, railway telegraph, and wireless communica- 
tion two trunk systems were thrown out from the central office 
in Lima, covering a wide stretch of territory at a very low cost. 

The first system was south from Lima, wireless messages 
being filed at the San Christobal (Lima) radiographic station, 
which were picked up by the Cachendo wireless station, located 
near Arequipa on the Southern Railway of Peru. Through 
arrangement with Mr. L. S. Blaisdell, manager of the Southern, 
an experienced telegraph operator received the messages from the 
state wireless service and sent them out over the railway telegraph 
line to Mollendo, Cuzco, Arequipa, Puno, and La Paz, and inter- 
mediate points. At all of these points the messages were given 
full publicity. Arrangements were being made for a farther 
extension of this southern trunk line by sending out the messages 
from La Paz over all of the Bolivian railway telegraph lines, 
but, owing to the signing of the armistice shortly after this office 
was opened and the falling off of cable service, no regular service 
was ever established on the Bolivian railways, though many 
of the more important messages were given publicity throughout 
Bolivia in this manner. 

The second line was north from Lima, by Central & South 
American Cable Company, to Payta, Peru, and Guayaquil, 
Ecuador. At the latter point the messages were filed free of 
charge on the Guayaquil & Quito Railway telegraph line to 
Quito, Ecuador, and intermediate points. 

The sub-agents co-operating with this office on the southern 
line wire service were L. S. Blaisdell, manager of the Southern 



Railway, at Arequipa, and Mr. Victor Tyree, of Denniston & 
Company, at La Paz. 

Those co-operating with this office on the northern wire service 
were C. W. Copeland, of the American consulate, Guayaquil, 
and Prof. E. S. Brown, of the Allied committee at Quito. Ex- 
penditure in connection with this service is duly set forth in the 
accounts of the Lima office, which have been submitted. 

By means of the foregoing service the daily cables of the 
Committee were distributed and published in all of the more im- 
portant newspapers of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. 

In addition to the newspapers, there were many small com- 
munities, particularly mining-camps, along the line of the Central 
Railway of Peru, where no newspapers existed, but where this 
telegraphic news was received and placed on bulletin-boards. 
The same condition applied to the Southern Railway system in 
southern Peru and the Guayaquil & Quito Railway in Ecuador, 
over which Compub telegrams were transmitted. 

As stated in the previous report of the pamphlets received 
by this office for distribution, some 40 per cent, were retained in 
Peru, 30 per cent, shipped to Ecuador, and 30 per cent, shipped to 
Bolivia. Of the amount retained in Peru practically all were 
sent into the smaller towns and provinces. This was owing to 
the fact that in the metropolitan centers the daily press and other 
abundant reading material nullified to a considerable degree the 
propaganda value of the pamphlet; whereas in the provinces 
reading matter is exceedingly scarce and difficult to secure and 
even patent-medicine almanacs are read religiously through. 
My experience has been that even the most attractive pamphlets, 
though they may be carefully conserved by their recipients, 
are rarely if ever read through in the metropolitan centers. 
Vast sums of money were spent by British propaganda on costly 
lithographed pamphlets, but it is now generally admitted that 
this money was inadvisably spent and that more effective results 
could have been secured by other means. Were it not for the 
provincial outlet, I personally would have advised the suspension 
of pamphlet distribution. It might have reached the mark in a few 
individual cases, but in Lima wide-spread pamphlet distribution 
would have done more harm than good. For four years pam- 
phlets, British, French, Belgian, and German, had been raining 
from the heavens, the public were surfeited with them, and pam- 
phlets were actually creating prejudice against their distributors. 



The Photographic Service was, beyond question, one of the 
most effective divisions of Compub activities. The appeal of 
the picture service was instantaneous, not so much to the press 
as to the general public. It has been my experience that average 
newspaper illustrations do not hold a reader's attention very 
long, while high-quality engravings or preferably original photo- 
graphs catch and hold the eye of people in every walk of society. 
Certainly the 12 bulletin-boards which we placed throughout 
Lima, each carrying 40 to 50 photographs, were never lacking 
an audience. This system of photographic distribution was 
highly satisfactory in its results. After rotating on the 12 Lima 
boards, sets of photographs were sent up the line of the Central 
Railway to be shown at the various stations and camps, and were 
also sent out into the provinces and were kept track of until 
lost or worn out. In this manner each photograph passed before 
several thousand pairs of eyes, while out of the abundant supply 
the newspapers were provided with all they could use. The 
wastage in photographic publicity material was therefore practi- 
cally nil. The poster reproduction of photographs with Spanish 
captions were also exceedingly popular and permitted us to reach 
certain provincial districts where the use of photographs would 
have been prohibitive from the viewpoint of cost. All of the 
photographic enlargements were suitably framed, and after being 
exhibited for several weeks in shop-windows were distributed 
among various leading clubs and other institutions. 

The activities of the Committee in other South American 
countries followed the same lines as those described by 
Mr. Sevier and Mr. Griffis. In Brazil Ambassador Edwin 
V. Morgan maintained constant supervision over the work 
and his success was entirely due to his force and vision. 
Mr. A. A. Preciado was in charge in Chile, and in Vene- 
zuela the American Minister, Mr. Preston McGoodwin, 
was the directing mind. Mr. S. P. Verner, in the govern- 
ment service in the Panama Canal, gave executive super- 
vision as far as the whole of Central America was con- 
cerned. Mr. John Collins, borrowed from the Panama 
Canal Board, was in charge of the distribution of the Com- 
pub service, taking it out of the air at Darien and trans- 



lating and relaying it to many cities in Central America 
where no other news was received from any source. 

Fortunately, there are now two American news associa- 
tions the Associated Press and the United Press oper- 
ating successfully in South America with a rapidly in- 
creasing clientele. They are furnishing an excellent and 
comprehensive service and will undoubtedly prove in- 
dispensable in carrying on the campaign for the permanent 
establishment of mutual knowledge, understanding, and 
friendship which the Committee conceived and placed in 




THROUGHOUT the summer of 1917, while the Foreign 
Section was building, we sent a daily cable service to 
Petrograd for distribution through Vestnik, the official 
news association. For contact work we were forced to 
depend upon the activities and influences of such American 
organizations as the Red Cross, Young Men's Christian 
Association, and volunteer groups formed by the Amer- 
ican colonies in Petrograd and Moscow for the specific 
purpose of "making Russia understand America." 

The temporary nature of the Root mission, and the 
erratic activities of the various "volunteer groups," brought 
home to us the imperative need of a continuous educational 
campaign under a central control, and Mr. Sisson, detached 
from his duties as associate chairman, was sent to Russia 
with full authority to work out a complete Committee 
organization. He sailed on October 27th, reaching Petro- 
grad November 25, 1917, and his report tells the story 
pointedly and concisely: 

The Bolshevik-Proletarian revolution had begun November 
7th, and the city was still under the closest Red Guard military 
control. I was told by the Americans on the scene that there 
was no possibility of any open governmental activity. This 
did not seem logical to me, but it necessitated a careful prelimi- 
nary survey. 

In a week's time I had convinced myself not only that it was 



possible to go ahead, but that the best way was to go ahead 
openly. This plan, however, required the use of the mechanical 
facilities wholly in the control of the Bolshevik government 
telegraph agencies, printing-shops, and, to a lesser degree, dis- 
tributing agencies. 

As an example of the chaotic condition of affairs, the Bolsheviki 
had suppressed all the existing and opposing bourgeois news- 
papers, leaving for the chief publications in Petrograd their 
official newspapers, the Isvestia and the Pravda. Such other 
newspapers as appeared were being obliged to change their 
names almost with each issue, so fast did the suppressions come. 

When I left the United States our cable service was supposed 
to be ready to begin to feed into the Russian governmental 
distributing organization, the Petrograd Telegraph Agency, 
which in Russia corresponds to the Associated Press in the United 
States. The revolution, however, had broken the service. 
Efforts to replace it had been made by the use of the wireless 
station at Lyons, France, the receiving station being at Moscow. 
The project failed because the Moscow station itself was almost 
immediately put out of commission. In Russia we would not 
have known of the effort had not a few sentences of one garbled 
message been picked up a few days before inefficient operators 
(or intent) finally wrecked the instruments at the station. 

The first job, therefore, was to restore the cable service. This 
was done after an interchange of cables with Washington, and 
after finding that the Petrograd Telegraph Agency desired to 
have and would use the cables. 

I called Arthur Bullard up from Moscow, where of his own 
initiative he had been acting as a volunteer in the consul's office 
in preparing a mail service for provincial papers, and made him 
the director of the Russian News Division of the Committee. 
I also commandeered Graham Taylor, Jr., who had been engaged 
on work in the German prison-camps in Russia until we went 
to war, and put him in charge of the Petrograd office. This was 
done in order to enable Mr. Bullard to return to Moscow and 
organize an office there. 

We opened an office at 4 Gorokovaya for the receipt of cable 
messages, and put in a translating force. The messages, as soon 
as translated, were fed into the Petrograd Telegraph Agency in 
Petrograd and theoretically were telegraphed all over Russia, 
as well as released to the Petrograd newspapers. Such was the 



disorganization of the telegraph lines, however, that in practice 
we found it at once necessary to install a courier service to Mos- 
cow, and to make the larger part of the national distribution 
from there. In both places we also released direct as exigencies 

In Moscow each week we assembled the cable material in 
pamphlet form, added to it educational mail and article material 
and distributed the pamphlets to the provincial press, and to 
organizations where we deemed it useful. 

We adopted for ourselves the Russian name Amerikansky 
Bureau Pachata (the American Press Bureau), and attached a 
governmental symbol to indicate its official nature. 

Both the British and the French did their publicity work as 
private organizations, and it was a matter of interest to me that 
the head of the French department came to me before I left 
Petrograd and said that ours was the right way. The British 
organization, Cosmos, was raided and closed by the Bolsheviki 
the last week in December. The French never put out anything 
openly. We were not seriously interfered with throughout the 

The middle of December found our news organization in opera- 
tion. One of the first impressions I had got of Petrograd was 
of its billboard possibilities. Every street, including the Nevsky, 
was papered up and down with placards and proclamations, 
mostly emanating from the Soviet. The first of President 
Wilson's Russian messages came in early December. As I 
feared, after reading it, the official newspapers refused to print 
it in full, and misused and misinterpreted such parts as they 
did print. Other papers also used it insufficiently, so I made 
up my mind to put it on the billboard. I was advised this would 
be regarded as a challenge by the Bolshevik government, but this 
view did not appear reasonable to me. I went about the matter 
openly, gave the job of printing to the biggest government 
printing establishment in Petrograd, a plant that would compare 
favorably with all but a few in the United States, and negotiated 
with a bill-poster agency to put up the message. The bill-posting 
man was the only person to show any fear of the outcome, but 
he needed the business and decided to take a chance. He played 
"safety first," and hired soldiers to do the pasting. The result 
was that fifty thousand copies of the President's message were 
posted one morning throughout Petrograd without any hindrance 



whatever. This posting was followed by a street hand distri- 
bution of three hundred thousand copies in the street-cars, 
in the theaters, hotels, stores, and to the street crowds. 

Similar plans were started in Moscow, but rioting broke out 
and prevented success. The third process of printing, the turn- 
ing of the speech to pamphlet use, was done at Moscow. 

The experience with this message enabled us to do the big job 
on the President's message of January 8th, with its statement 
of terms of any possible peace. We had learned the machinery. 
The speech began to reach us January 10th, but did not come 
complete until January llth. A successful maneuver enabled 
us to get it used in full in the Isvestia, the direct organ of the 
Soviets. This in itself gave a complete all-Russia circulation 
among the Soviets. There was liberal use of the message in 
nearly all of the newspapers. 

The Petrograd posters were up January 13th. The street 
distribution, again of three hundred thousand, followed a few 
days later. The Moscow distribution was done almost simul- 

On this message German distribution was essential. One 
million copies were printed in German. Of this quantity three 
hundred thousand were put across the northern line into the 
German line, and two hundred thousand similarly at the central 
and the southern front. A half-million went to German prison- 
camps in Russia, for the reason that these prisoners were expected 
soon to return to Germany. 

The German distribution was done by an organization of 
soldiers through the help of Jerome Davis, of the Young Men's 
Christian Association, who had used them for package distri- 
bution. The Young Men's Christian Association as a body 
had nothing to do with the work. This soldiers' organization 
was later made a part of our own machinery, and was used with 
high effectiveness in the distribution of German and Hungarian 
versions of President Wilson's speech of February llth. It 
worked along the line of the German advance into Russia, and 
fulfilled its instructions to scatter the messages in territory about 
to be occupied by the German army. The head of this organi- 
zation was B. Morgenstern. 

Had the Germans entered Petrograd in late February they 
would have been greeted by posters in German, of the 
President's messages of January 8th and February llth. One 



hundred thousand copies of the former were run the middle of 
February to provide for this contingency. 

In the last week in February we encountered our first definite 
Bolshevik stoppage. The colored cartoon poster, showing the 
arm of German force stabbing the people's hand and tramping 
upon the people's banner of liberty, was confiscated on the press 
by order of the Bolshevik government. 


Smolny laughed at us when we asked it. 

We asked in order to see whether Smolny would laugh. 

The News Division moved into larger quarters on the Nevsky 
the last week in February, the week that saw the exit from Petro- 
grad of the embassies, consulates, and the missions, including 
the American Embassy, the American consul, the American 
Military 'Mission, and the American Red Cross. The change 
had been planned for weeks earlier. We concluded to be 
found going ahead until we could go no farther. So large 
American flags were draped across the windows, and the division 
moved in. 

The Film Division headquarters were on the Kazansky, half 
a block from the Nevsky, facing the cathedral. They were in 
charge of Guy Croswell Smith as director. The machine stood 
ready to receive new films by January 1st. The failure of Hart, 
of the Young Men's Christian Association, to bring through a 
quarter of a million feet of film intended for us kept us from satu- 
rating Russia with American films in the early winter. The 
second allotment of films given into the custody of Bernstein 
had reached Stockholm when the Finnish revolution of the 
last days of January closed the gates into Russia. No couriers 
came into Petrograd after February 1st. 

Smith and I found both Hart and the Bernstein films still in 
Scandinavia in April. 

With such films as he had on hand Mr. Smith did fine 
work. The "Uncle Sam Immigrant" film was put out \\ith a 
camouflage title, "All for Peace." The finished title would have 
read "All for Peace Through War," but we left it to the audi- 
ences to find that out for themselves. The biggest moving- 
picture theater in Petrograd ran both films, and they fed rapidly 
throughout the whole of Russia. We traced them from the 
Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea and far into Siberia. 

I arranged for an option on a Petrograd theater, and the pur- 



pose was to lease similarly in Moscow, and after a run for adver- 
tising purposes, to turn the films into trade channels, to add 
incentive to circulation. It is the method to use in Russia and, 
in general, nearly everywhere. 

In my opinion, the best individual work done in Russia for 
the United States was that of Arthur Bullard in writing the 
pamphlet, "Letters to a Russian Friend," an interpretation 
of the highest order of America. We published it in Russian 
as a Red, White, and Blue Book. Three hundred thousand 
copies were distributed. 

The Moscow office continued the distribution of the January 
and February messages in the remote sections of Russia after 
March 1st. The total distribution of the Fourteen Points speech, 
including the Hungarian and German text, was more than four 
million. Three hundred thousand handbills containing both 
messages were distributed ahead of the German advance in 
Ukraine. The President's Baltimore speech was printed in 
Irkutsk, Omsk, Samara, Petrograd, Moscow, and Ekaterinburg. 

A few weeks after my own departure from Russia, in the spring 
of 1918, it became definitely clear to me that the purpose of the 
Germans and of the Russian Bolsheviks was to bring about an 
untenable situation in Russia for all officials and citizens 
of Entente countries. The purpose was to limit their freedom 
and their activities more and more, and finally to expel them. 
It was my hope that all countries would see this and get their 
nationals out of Russia before they should be thrown out humili- 
atingly. But at that time the international political world 
could not believe that this outcome was inevitable. 

I was sure, however, that within a few weeks it would be im- 
possible to get material into European Russia. Accordingly, I took 
the responsibility of ordering Mr. Bullard and his American group, 
save one man, to remove themselves from the Bolshevik area 
of Russia. Our chief office at Moscow, and even the office at 
Petrograd, remained open, the former in charge of Read Lewis, 
and the latter in charge of a Russian assistant. The Moscow 
office was finally raided and closed by the Bolsheviks the first 
week in September, 1918. 

It was necessary to shift the organization as a whole to a place 
where it could have a dependable base of supplies. Obviously, 
this place was Siberia, affording the opportunity for a sound 
and steady penetration along the line of the Siberian railroad 



as fast as order was restored along this railroad line. The 
eventual goal would be Moscow. 

This whole project of transfer was successfully carried out. 
Two men, Malcolm Davis and William Adams Brown, worked 
their way out through Siberia, and in the early summer had 
opened new offices at Harbin and Vladivostok. 

Meantime Mr. Bullard, accompanied by Mr. George Bakeman, 
Mr. Otto Glaman, and Mr. Taylor, secured passage from Arch- 
angel to Halifax and about July 1st reached the United States. 
This nucleus was at once equipped for the remainder of the jour- 
ney around the world. The additional staff, made up of news- 
paper men, translators, teachers, moving-picture experts, and 
office helpers, included Dr. Joshua Rosett, Franklin Clarkin, 
Edwin Schoonmaker, Robert Winters, George Bothwell, Sid 
Evans, Prof. William Russell, William Games, Lem A. Dever, 
Phil Norton, Dennis J. Haggerty, and H. Y. Barnes. Seven 
hundred and fifty thousand feet of the best moving-picture 
film were sent, together with high-powered projecting machines. 
Four weeks after he set foot on American soil Mr. Bullard was 
sailing with the first contingent from a Pacific port. 1 

Too great credit cannot be given to the representatives 
of the Committee who stayed with the work from bitter 
first to bitter last, enduring every hardship, running every 
risk, and called upon at every turn to fight overwhelming 
difficulties. Arthur Bullard, in full charge after Mr. Sis- 
son's departure, not only gave a full measure of devotion and 
ability, but also his health. It is not possible in this brief 
space to print the full record of effort and accomplishment, 
but the following summaries will serve to convey some idea 
of the campaign carried forward entirely by individual 
courage and initiative. Mr. Read Lewis was in charge 
of the work in Moscow and Petrograd until the offices were 
closed by the Soviet, and despite civil war, governmental 
opposition, and his inability to receive our cable and mail 
services he fought on. To quote: 

1 Mr. Sisson's report on the German-Bolshevik conspiracy is a separate pub- 
lication of the Committee on Public Information. 


During July and August the principal work of the Russian 
Press Division was the publication and distribution of the Amer- 
ican Bulletin. This sixteen-page pamphlet, designed for the 
general reading public, was issued weekly and distributed free 
of charge to a mailing-list of forty thousand names. The bul- 
letin contained the cable news despatches, so long as they were 
received, and articles and paragraphs descriptive of the different 
phases of American life. The bulletin mailing-list included all 
newspapers and publications, eight hundred co-operative unions 
and their more than ten thousand constituent societies, thou- 
sands of schools and libraries, all the Soviet and government 
institutions of the country, trade unions, teachers' associations, 
the old zemstvos, commercial and manufacturing associations, 
many business houses and individuals. The building up of this 
mailing-list was a matter of continuous and careful work. Our 
attempt was to reach not only the sources of public opinion, but 
at least some part of the people themselves. Not a day went by 
without at least one letter from a provincial Soviet, or one of 
its departments, expressing interest in our work, forwarding 
names of local organizations, and requesting sometimes as many 
as fifty copies of each issue for its use. Thus, despite the terri- 
tory impossible to reach on account of civil war, we were dis- 
tributing fifty thousand copies of each issue of the bulletin. 

In addition to the American Bulletin the bureau also issued 
during the summer a translation of "How the War Came to 
America," and a pamphlet collecting several of the speeches 
of President Wilson, principally those of January 8th on terms 
of general peace, of February llth replying to the Central 
Powers, and of April 7th at Baltimore. Of each of these two 
pamphlets one hundred thousand copies had been printed and 
were being distributed. We continued to print and distribute 
the very successful "Letters of an American Friend." Of this 
four hundred thousand copies had been printed and distributed 
and a new order was on the press. In the form of leaflets we 
issued and distributed both the President's Red Cross speech 
of May 18th in New York and his speech of June llth to the 
Mexican editors. Four million copies, indeed, of the speech of 
January 8th were distributed throughout the country and at 
the front. Copies of it for posting had been sent to all railroad 
stations in Russia. In default of a greater variety of literature 
for general distribution we printed of the last several issues of 



the bulletin a second fifty thousand for distribution outside of 
its regular mailing-list. To pamphlets like "Letters of an 
American Friend" and the speeches of President Wilson, the 
bureau aimed to give a far more general distribution than to 
the weekly bulletin. Copies of such pamphlets were of course 
sent to the bulletin mailing-list. In Addition the bureau main- 
tained a staff of eleven couriers and messengers for the work 
of distribution. Two, for example, devoted their entire time 
to daily distribution at the railroad stations in Moscow; two 
more to distribution at the factories and co-operative soci- 
eties in the Moscow district. A special effort was made to reach 
personally with our literature each of the many congresses and 
conferences with their delegates from different parts of the 
country. To these meetings and conventions our messengers 
carried subscription lists and in this way were able to add to the 
bulletin mailing-list. The rest of our courier staff were employed 
in making regular trips to the provinces. The complete break- 
down of the transportation system in Russia made it essential, 
if we were consistently to reach the provincial cities and dis- 
tricts with our literature, that we should have our own system 
of distribution. The trips for our provincial messengers were 
carefully planned, each man being given a list of the organi- 
zations, factories, persons, etc., to which he was to distribute 
literature in the several cities which he was to visit. Nearly 
all men engaged in this department of our work were members 
of the Society of Escaped Prisoners that is, they had been 
common soldiers in the Russian army and subsequently prison- 
ers in Germany, from which they had escaped. 

Through its department of distribution the bureau had thus 
distributed, during the month from July 15th to August 15th, 
10,112 pieces of literature at congresses and conventions; 51,600 
at railroad stations in Moscow; 55,951 at factories, to works 
committees and trade unions; 38,007 to co-operative societies 
and shops in Moscow and vicinity; and 167,950 in the provinces 
by the bureau's couriers. This, in addition to a small miscel- 
laneous distribution at the offices of the committee in Petrograd 
and Moscow and in addition to the distribution of the bulletin 
by post, made the total distribution for the month 479,333. 

It is obvious, of course, that if we could have supplied to 
and had published by the Russian newspapers the same or mate- 
rial equivalent to that which we ourselves printed and distributed, 



we should have employed a far more economical and extensive 
method of publication and distribution. The publication of 
our own pamphlets, and especially of our weekly paper, however, 
seemed essential, not only because of the utter demoralization 
of the Russian press, but as a concrete evidence and expression 
of America's policy of friendship and helpful co-operation with 
the Russian people. Following the assassination of Ambassador 
Mirbach early in July, all of the bourgeois press was permanently 
closed, and until I left Moscow, August 28, 1918, none but a few 
Bolshevik newspapers appeared. 

All through July and part of August, while the Russian press 
was fuming at Anglo-French imperialists, never a word was said 
about America, although it was well known that we were also 
parties with England and France to the treaty with the Mur- 
mansk Soviet. The different attitude which the Russian news- 
papers and government have taken toward America, as distin- 
guished from the other allies, has been due not only to what 
America is, but also, I believe, to our propaganda, and the efforts 
we have made to make America understood. It has been due 
to the fact that our propaganda was distinguished from that 
of the English and French, has aimed at reaching the broad 
masses of the Russian people. We have tried to make friends 
with the people themselves. That we have at least in a small 
measure succeeded is attested by many letters of appreciation 
received from simple people, often from scarcely literate peasants 
and working-men. 

As soon as Mr. Lewis reached Stockholm in September, 
1918, he was ordered to Archangel and remained on duty 
there until the late winter of 1919, a notable contribution 
of citizen service. 

Malcolm Davis and William Adams Brown opened 
telegraph and wireless -receiving offices at Vladivostok 
and Harbin in June, 1918. Arthur Bullard and the staff 
of reinforcements joined them in the late summer. The 
organization was approaching the top of its stride in 
February, 1919, when its demobilization order came. All 
the staff recognized the inevitability of the ending of the 
work and understood the reasons for it, yet there was not 



a member of the organization who did not feel that it 
came at a most unfortunate time, considered from the 
point of view of Siberia and of Russian relationship gen- 
erally. Other nations were developing energetic propa- 
ganda campaigns, and the American engineers were finally 
taking up the task of railroad reorganization and the Amer- 
ican Red Cross extending its relief activities. These con- 
siderations, together with the fact that it was a critical 
time in the discussion of Russian-Allied relations, made 
the withdrawal of the American Information Bureau re- 
grettable. That this was not merely the feeling of men 
engaged in the work, but that it was a view shared by im- 
partial representatives of the government of the United 
States of America as well as by Russians and by represent- 
atives of some of the other Allies, is evidenced by the mes- 
sages to Washington of Ambassador Morris, who was in 
Vladivostok on a special mission from Tokio, from Consul- 
General Harris and all his consular staff, by the telegram 
of Motosada Zuomoto, head of the Japanese Information 
Bureau, and by letters from Russians, all urging the con- 
tinuance of the work, if possible. 

Mr. Davis and Mr. Brown originally left Moscow for a 
survey of Siberia in March, 1918. To quote from the report 
of Mr. Davis: 

We found the press under the strict control of the Bolshevik 
regime. No papers with a political color were being published 
in any town visited except the official Bolshevik organ and one 
or two others of the most radical Socialist revolutionary tenden- 
cies. In general, there was less freedom for the press in Siberia 
under the Bolshevik regime than in Petrograd and Moscow 
under the same regime. The separate peace had just been con- 
cluded between the German government and the "Russian 
Federated Socialistic Soviet Republic." 

We proceeded on the same policy which had won a measure 
of success in Moscow and Petrograd, since we were under orders 
to attempt to continue publicity in Bolshevik Russia and Siberia. 



It had been decided not to attack Bolshevism or discuss politi- 
cal questions in Russia directly, and to get across as much infor- 
mation as possible about the principles of democratic government, 
the aims of America and the Allies, the war organization of 
America and the growing supremacy of the Allied arms, the 
actions of the German government in Russia and other occupied 
territories and spheres of influence, and as much general news and 
special-article material as possible about political and social con- 
ditions and ideas in the United States. This work was regarded 
as tending to strengthen every sane democratic movement exist- 
ing in the country, to give information that might serve as a basis 
for working out new problems of government in the country, 
and to create as much of friendly feeling and understanding as 
possible among the common people in Russia. 

We met with varying attitudes on the part of the editors 
and of the leaders of the Soviets or councils which were iii charge 
of affairs everywhere. While frankly antagonistic to America 
as a "capitalists' country," they had no objection to our carry- 
ing on a campaign of information so long as they were sure they 
knew what we were doing and that we were not doing anything 
directly against Bolshevist organization. 

We had at this time the war anniversary speech of President 
Wilson, and this we had printed as a wall poster, in fifty thousand 
copies, for posting in and around Omsk and for mail distribu- 
tion. The circulation was carried out, after our departure, 
by a Russian assistant whom we engaged, under the supervision 
of American Consul Thomson. An additional ten thousand 
copies of this poster were later sent to Vice-Consul Thomas in 
Krasnoyarsk for display and distribution there. We also 
arranged at once for the distribution of about fifteen thousand 
copies each of Mr. Bullard's pamphlet "Letters of an American 
Friend," which had been very successful, and also of the weekly 
American Bulletin from the Moscow office. 

Going on to Krasnoyarsk, we stayed long enough to form an 
impression of all the editors and Soviet leaders there, and to 
engage a local Russian representative, who was to work in con- 
tact with the American vice-consul. We also arranged for the 
circulation of material through the co-operative unions; and for 
the regular forwarding of telegraphic news and printed literature 
from the central offices in Moscow. In order to circulate copies 
of the President's speeches at all, we had to get the official 


permission of the Irkutsk commissars, who were determining 
entirely what should be published in the city at the time. We 
went to call on Yanson, the commissar for foreign affairs of the 
Siberian administration, which was located in Irkutsk. He was 
at first absolutely opposed to publication of anything represent- 
ing an American or Allied point of view. 

"You know," said the commissar, "we regard all established 
governments with antagonism, for we aim at a world-wide 
revolution which will overthrow the power of the capitalists 

" Do you mean," asked we, " that you recognize no difference be- 
tween such a government as the government of the United States 
of America and the Prussian military government of Germany?" 

"Absolutely none," replied the commissar. "America is 
one financial imperialism and Germany is another. Both system- 
atically exploit the working-class and the people. So far as we 
are concerned they are one and the same; and we are against 
them both!" 

We pointed out to him that the address which we proposed 
to publish and to circulate in and around Irkutsk was an official 
utterance of the Chief Executive of our nation, that it represented 
the point of view of the government of one of the great Powers 
both with regard to the issues of the war in general and with 
regard to Russia, and that as such it should be published as news, 
not as propaganda. We got the necessary rubber-stamped 
permission to circulate the copies of the address on the strength 
of this argument, and proceeded to plaster the town with copies 
of the address. 

In the course of doing the work in Siberia we got constant 
evidence of friendly feeling for America and confidence in her 
intentions on the part of the common people not allied with 
the Bolsheviks. These people were completely suppressed for 
the time being, however, and they could not make their point 
of view effective, since the Bolsheviks had all the guns. They 
did take our material and circulate it. We got such expressions 
of feeling from the railroad men along the Trans-Siberian line, 
and from the students, members of professional unions, and co- 
operative society workers in cities where we stopped. This feel- 
ing was also evidenced in an incident which occurred after we 
left Irkutsk. We had left all our printed material and special- 
article material with the American consul, asking him to give 


it as much circulation as possible, since we were ordered out 
of the region. He gave the material to a representative of an 
American firm in Irkutsk. There the material was displayed 
on a counter, and in a very short time it was all gone. The consul 
afterward related to us how people would come in and ask for 
copies and also for permission to circulate them among their 
friends. Representatives of the railroad workers' unions also 
came in and asked for permission to reprint at their own cost 
some of the material about America, for distribution among 
their members. 

Having discharged their task completely, Mr. Davis 
and Mr. Brown were now faced with the problem of getting 
out of Bolshevik Siberia. Three days' travel by train and 
then a boat trip up the Selenga River brought them to 
the border, where they slipped across, after which Ford 
automobiles carried them through Mongolia and across 
the Gobi Desert. Peking was reached on May 31st, where 
they received instructions to proceed to Harbin, Man- 
churia, on the line of the Chinese Eastern Railway, man- 
aged by a Russian directorate and forming an important 
link on the Trans-Siberian line from the west to Vladivos- 
tok. The city of Harbin at that time formed what might 
be called the external political capital of Russia, having 
as residents influential members of the Russian business 
and political groups most strongly opposed to the Bol- 
shevik regime. It therefore offered a very fertile field for 
publicity, combining in its population the elements above 
mentioned with the Russian workers in the large railroad 
repair-shops of the Chinese Eastern Railway. 

Purchasing a few office supplies in Peking, and as- 
sembling all available material, Mr. Davis and Mr. Brown 
started for Harbin on June 10th, arriving two days later. 
Mr. Davis's report continues as follows: 

The state of public opinion in Harbin and in the general 
section around it and reached by its newspapers was very 



uncertain. The German advance on the western front was 
still in full progress, and the fresh forces of the American army 
had not yet been thrown into action. The submarine campaign 
was continuing, and the facts of American shipbuilding were not 
known as they needed to be known in this part of the world. 
The Allies had not yet adopted a policy of active aid to loyal 
Russians against the Bolsheviks and German-Magyar ex-prisoner 
forces, so no one knew what would be the issue of the political 
situation in Siberia and Russia. Consequently, there were a 
great many people who were listening to the incessant German 
propaganda that the Russian Bolshevik revolution had destroyed 
the last chance of the Allies to win, that the entrance of America 
into the war was too late to save the situation, that at least the 
Allies would be forced to a compromise peace in which Germany 
would gain the main advantages or else that Germany would 
actually win the decisive victory in the war and thus dominate 
the international situation. In Russian circles there were many 
who believed that a monarchy supported by an alliance with the 
Prussian monarchy would be the best thing for Russia; and 
there were many others who believed that any force which 
could bring order in Russia would be beneficial, and who, conse- 
quently, were ready to turn to Germany for that result. 

We had arranged before leaving Peking for the forwarding 
from the American Legation there of the daily news cable service 
of the Committee on Public Information from Washington. 
We also found in the American consulate's care some cases of 
motion-picture films, about sixty different films in all, some of 
them in duplicate and triplicate. There were also some books 
and pamphlets from America about American conditions and 
war organization, sent by the Committee in Washington. The 
Committee had also sent to the American consul, Mr. Moser, 
the sum of five thousand dollars to finance a campaign of publicity 
in and around Harbin, and Mr. Moser, working under great 
pressure in the complicated situation in Harbin, had engaged 
H. Curtis Vezey, formerly editor of The Russian Daily News 
in Petrograd, to act as publicity agent. We retained Mr. Vezey 
as an assistant, moved into the temporary office which he had 
engaged, and started to work at the job of changing public 
opinion regarding the war. 

We began to flood the newspapers with telegrams, translated 
ready into Russian and furnished free, regarding the numbers 


of American troops being transported each month to France, 
the numbers of new ships being built for the battle-fleet and mer- 
chant marine, amounts of Liberty Loans and other subscriptions 
for the war, amounts of foodstuffs shipped to the Allies, and 
refutations of rumors about paralyzing strikes in the United 
States and proofs of the unity of the people in the effort against 
the Central Empires. Fortunately, the newspapers were either 
friendly to the Allies or open-minded; and further, they were 
comparatively poor and had no good telegraph news service. 
The appearance of the free American service was a boon to them 
and they printed nearly every line of news that we gave to them. 

We also began to translate special articles on American national 
institutions and organizations, on labor conditions and the labor 
movement, and the reasons why labor was supporting the gov- 
ernment in the war and would continue to support it, on various 
aspects of the life of the people in America, political, social, 
economic, tending to show what advantages they already have 
and what powers they have to change conditions constantly 
for the better, all intended to show the reasons for American 
unity and loyalty. Many of these articles were also printed, 
despite the comparatively small size of Russian newspapers. 
The changed tone of editorial utterances regarding the war 
showed the cumulative effect of the propaganda. All utterances 
by the President were also translated and sent to the papers, 
and they were invariably published and commented on. 

During all of this period our assistant, Mr. Vezey, whom we 
employed on a part-time arrangement, was publishing our news 
in English in his Russian Daily News, Occasionally, when 
especially important news arrived, an evening telegraph bulletin 
in Russian was gotten out by The Russian Daily News and sold 
on the streets, which made a very useful and effective form of 
quick-action publicity. 

We sorted our motion-picture films into programs and arranged 
for a week of American official motion pictures in one of the Har- 
bin theaters for the benefit of the Russian Red Cross. The pict- 
ures which we had were mainly military and industrial, with a 
few travel pictures of America and some weekly news review 
films. We had the excellent film, "The Remaking of a Nation," 
and also much other film showing army-training in the United 
States. We divided the films off into programs as well balanced 
as possible; and then covered the town with advertisements 
26 389 


and distributed handbills for the week's program, which we en- 
titled "America for the Allies." 

The pictures were well attended by mixed audiences and made 
a considerable impression. Those showing the efficient drilling 
of the new army of America and the power of the battle-fleet, 
however, seemed to impress them most of all. The impression 
which we were trying to make constantly was that America was 
with the Allies, and for them, heart and soul, and that she was 
throwing into the fight every bit of strength and resource that 
she could make effective, a fact which was making the ultimate 
triumph of the Allied arms sure. The pictures also served as 
an excellent prelude to the news which we were able to give 
shortly afterward about the first victorious American drive at 
Chateau-Thierry, and the turning of the tide of battle which 
developed into victory. 

The pictures had English flash titles, so we arranged to show 
them with a lecturer, who explained each picture in Russian and 
who answered any questions about it from the audience. After 
finishing the showings in Harbin, the pictures were sent out along 
the line of the Chinese Eastern Railroad in Manchuria to the 
Russian theaters in Tsitsikar, Hailar, and Manchuria Station. 
On their return they were sent to the office which had by that 
time been opened in Vladivostok to have Russian titles put in. 

When we first arrived in Harbin the lines to Vladivostok and 
to Siberia were, of course, closed. The Bolsheviks were still 
in control and fighting between them and Semenov was going 
on along the line between Manchuria Station and Chita. The 
Harbin newspapers, however, were the only ones in Russian in 
Manchuria, and were sent to every Russian community. Con- 
sequently, by placing material in these papers we were reaching 
all Russian newspaper readers. The Harbin papers were also 
sent through whenever possible, by various individual ways, 
to Vladivostok, to Habarovsk, to Blagovestchensk, and to Chita; 
and there they were read and often reprinted by the editors of 
local papers. In this way, consequently, we were reaching 
as much of the Siberian field as possible at the moment. W r hen 
a paper was established at Manchuria Station, we started send- 
ing our telegrams and special articles there; and when another 
was started in Sakhalin, just across the river in Manchuria 
from Blagovestchensk, we began sending material there. 

The President's speech at Mount Vernon, which we printed 



in a pamphlet to the number of ten thousand copies in Harbin, 
in addition to securing publication in the newspapers, was dis- 
tributed in Harbin and through Manchuria in these various 

The American proclamation of August 3d, regarding Russia, 
caused a very animated discussion in the Harbin press. We 
printed twenty thousand copies of the statement and distributed 
them as well as possible in Harbin and Manchuria, sending some 
to Sakhalin for Blagovestchensk, and some to Vladivostok. 
In this distribution, the American Railroad Mission was very 
helpful. We also had selections from the announcement made 
into plates for projection on the moving-picture screen and showed 
them in two motion-picture theaters. From the large number 
of photographs sent us from Washington by the Committee, 
twenty-five were selected, and after some difficulty we arranged 
to have cuts made of them and have them printed in the form 
of post-cards for sale in railroad stations and stationery stores. 

The triumph of the Czechoslovaks in the summer opened 
up the Siberian Railroad, first from Harbin to Vladivostok, 
and afterward through to the Urals, giving the Committee 
a chance for general Siberian work. For some time 
Admiral Knight, commander of the cruiser Brooklyn off 
Vladivostok, had been receiving the Committee's wireless 
reports and giving them to the American consulate for 
distribution, so that the field was not entirely virgin. 
Mr. Brown, going from Harbin to Vladivostok with motion 
pictures, opened the campaign with successful showings 
of our films, and Mr. Davis, following him, established the 
usual Committee office. A staff was picked up on the 
ground and authorized translations of the daily news ser- 
vice as well as the special articles contained in the Poole 
service commenced to flow steadily into the press. Print- 
ing arrangements were made for the pamphlet, "Letters 
of an American Friend," and a daily bulletin in English 
was issued for the information of the Allied consulates 
and officials. This bulletin also went to the French Red 
Cross for translation for the French troops and was also 



put into Russian for courier transmission to papers not 
reached by wire. Mr. Carl Kranz, given authority to 
secure offices and an office force, did his work so well that 
when Mr. Bullard and his party arrived in Vladivostok he 
found a publicity machine of such smoothness and power 
that he was enabled instantly to make Vladivostok his 
headquarters, turning Harbin into a subsidiary. 

A film campaign that reached from the theaters to the 
schools, the churches, and the homes was at once begun, 
and these exhibitions were a powerful factor in our appeal 
to the Siberian masses. Some of the difficulties under 
which the Committee labored are set forth in the following 
memorandum filed by G. S. Both well, technical director 
of the Motion Picture Division: 

The building we worked in is like most other buildings in 
Vladivostok. It has neither water-supply nor sewerage systems, 
as this is almost unknown in this place. In order to turn out 
any quantity of these titles we found it necessary to have running 
water, and at an expense of twenty-five thousand rubles we put 
in a water-supply and sewerage system which meets all require- 
ments of the city laws. However, after this system was com- 
pleted and all arrangements had been agreed upon, the city 
authorities refused to turn water on and kept us three weeks 
or more without running water. 

We found it necessary to establish a machine-shop, and as 
the Russian government had many lathes lying on the wharves 
rusting and fast becoming worthless, we tried to requisition one. 
We were switched from one party to another by the Russian 
authorities until we were fighting-mad and at last pinned them 
down to facts. We were informed that if we deposited sixteen 
thousand rubles in a bank a commission would let us know how 
much they would charge us for a lathe worth at the most fifty 
dollars. Despite these obstacles, for the past month we have 
been turning out about twenty-five hundred feet of completed 
titles each day, quite a number of still pictures, and some motion 
pictures, both negative and positive. 

About the middle of October we received our shipment of 
machines and film that we brought to Japan and the Japanese 


held up when we reshipped from Kobe to Vladivostok. This 
is a long story, and it is not possible to exactly place the responsi- 

However, after we received this film we made many attempts 
to get distribution and found it most discouraging. The picture- 
houses would not use these pictures without Russian titles and 
graciously offered to show them for us if we would insert good 
Russian titles and pay them for exhibiting first-class American 

We then got the Vladivostok Zemstvo (Russian self-govern- 
ment for local districts) interested, with fine results. They 
agreed to take our industrial and educational pictures throughout 
Siberia and show them in the towns and villages if we would 
supply the complete outfit, consisting of generator, motion- 
picture machine, etc., which we gladly did, and the results were 
most satisfactory. The first show was for the agricultural dis- 
tricts and the reports were simply great. The village commune 
is common all over Siberia, and these people in many instances 
want to buy tractors and other farming implements collectively. 
They ask no end of questions and beg for farming instructors 
from America. We now handle all the educational work through 
the Vladivostok Zemstvo with gratifying success. Our Russian 
titles are real Russian and they like them. 

Mr. Glaman had the same obstacles to overcome in 
the matter of printing. It was difficult to find presses, 
and the shortage of paper compelled him to buy old stock 
in Shanghai and Japan. The same difficulties were en- 
countered by the publication department, directed edi- 
torially by Malcolm Davis and Graham Taylor, and under 
the business management of Mr. Glaman. Despite every 
discouragement, the work went on, as the following list 
of publications will show: 

The Friendly Word. A weekly magazine; 14 issues totaling 
288 pages and 522,350 copies. Some of this material was drawn 
from the cable service of the Committee on Public Information, 
particularly the texts of the notes exchanged between the vari- 
ous nations leading up to the armistice, and the speeches of Pres- 


ident Wilson. The main portion of the material was received 
from the Foreign Press Bureau and included many articles and 
news notes which were used in full, others which were shortened 
or condensed, and others which were used as the basis for the 
preparation of material adapted to meet space conditions or the 
interest of the Siberian public. All of the illustrations appear- 
ing in The Friendly Word are from half-tones or photographs 
which were sent by the Foreign Press Bureau. 

The remaining portion of the material used in The Friendly 
Word was almost wholly written by members of the staff of the 
Russian Division. This included various editorial notes and 
articles; the articles on American Activity in Siberia, by Arthur 
Bullard; the series of articles by Prof. W. F. Russell on the 
Development of Education in America; a series of four articles 
on the League of Nations, by E. D. Schoonmaker, and a series 
of four articles on health Typhus, Tuberculosis, Milk, and In- 
fant Feeding by Dr. Joshua Rosett. 

This distribution was greatly facilitated by the generous co- 
operation of the Czechoslovak authorities in permitting the ship- 
ment of bundles of copies in the weekly mail-car operated by the 
Czechoslovaks on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. 

From each of the offices of the Committee copies were sent, 
as far as possible, to individual addresses. The mailing-lists 
included governmental and local officials, libraries, reading-rooms, 
universities and schools, officers and members of zemstvos, 
co-operative societies and peasant unions, persons who wrote 
letters expressing interest and requesting copies, etc. In many 
cases organizations such as zemstvos, co-operative societies, 
peasant unions, teachers' organizations, literary societies, and 
commercial and industrial bodies took an active interest in 
distributing copies to their members. 

Letters of an American Friend. Of this pamphlet of 24 pages, 
written by Arthur Bullard, director of the Russian Division, 
expressing the friendly interest of America in the democratic 
progress of the Russian people and explaining the principles of 
American democracy, there were published 150,000 copies. 

American Activity in Siberia. This pamphlet of 8 pages, con- 
taining a reprint of an article by Arthur Bullard, director of the 
Russian Division, which originally appeared in The Friendly 
Word, was published in an edition of 100,000 copies. 

America and Peace. This pamphlet of 16 pages, compiled by 



M. W. Davis, containing, with an introduction, the texts*of notes 
exchanged between the various nations in the negotiations 
leading up to the armistice, and passages from President Wilson's 
speeches bearing on peace, was published in an edition of 100,550. 

The German Plot to Control Russia. This pamphlet of 16 
pages, by M. W. Davis, after consultation with Mr. Bullard, 
containing the substance of the documents in the Sisson report 
made public by the Committee on Public Information to show 
the character of German activity in Russia, was published in an 
edition of 100,000 copies. 

Typhus handbill. This handbill, containing a reprint of an 
article in The Friendly Word, designed to give information in 
popular form concerning ways whereby each individual and 
family could help combat the epidemic of typhus in Siberia, was 
printed in an edition of 24,000. 

Development of Education in the United States. This .booklet 
of 64 pages, containing a reprint of the 14 educational articles 
by Prof. W. F. Russell of the State University of Iowa which 
were originally published in The Friendly Word, was printed 
in an edition of 50,000 and, in accordance with instructions from 
the main office of the Committee in Washington, the entire edition, 
issued just prior to the termination of the Committee's work 
in Siberia, was turned over to the American consul in Vladivostok 
for distribution under the supervision of the various consular 
officers in Siberia. 

Speeches of President Wilson. This booklet of 48 pages was 
published in an edition of 100,000 copies, 7,000 on a good quality 
of paper for distribution to libraries, reading-rooms, schools, 
universities, and officials, and 93,000 on cheap paper for popular 

It is . regrettable indeed that there is not space for pub- 
lication of the entire report by Mr. Davis on the Siberian 
work, but his closing chapters pay some deserved tributes 
and contain some very valuable observations. To quote: 

The scope of this report does not give opportunity to include 
the reports of the individual field men in Chita, Irkutsk, Omsk, 
Ekaterinburg, and Chelyabinsk, which contain much interest- 
ing detail. They worked loyally and hard in the service, with 



a spirit of co-operation which made the whole relationship a 
pleasure. Special notice is due to the service of W. A. Brown, Jr., 
who had the hardest physical conditions to face. He traveled 
on freight-cars and crowded third and fourth-class cars con- 
stantly, and never complained of hardship if a piece of work 
could be done. He went to Perm as soon as possible after its 
capture from the Bolsheviks, and had literature dropped across 
their lines from airplanes. 

The daily telegraph news service was extended to reach nearly 
all Siberian papers through an agreement with the Russian 
Telegraph Agency at Omsk, reached through R. E. Winters, 
our representative there. 

In addition, our bulletins in English were sent by American 
headquarters at Vladivostok to Chita and relayed by our man 
there to the other field men, so that each would have the service 
in full. The field men also received weekly packages by mail, 
with special articles already translated for the press, and full 
sets of the bulletin accompanying a regular service letter. 

Early in January Otto T. Glaman, business manager, and I 
started out for a tour of the field to get in touch with the men 
in the several offices and to co-ordinate their activities further 
if necessary. We traveled in a freight-car, which had been made 
over into an office car, with a sleeping compartment and a kitchen 
and a brakeman's compartment, specially for this purpose by 
the American Railway Mission. We also had a smaller freight- 
car as trailer, with a stock of literature and of fuel and food 
supplies for ourselves and the field men. 

In Irkutsk we received the demobilization orders, and from 
there on the original purpose of the trip was automatically 
changed. We went to Omsk, where we took Brown from 
Ekaterinburg, and Winters from Omsk, office manager, on 
board with us and started back for Vladivostok on March 2d. 
Bakeman, the Irkutsk manager, returned in a consulate car, 
and Clarkin, from Chita, with us. 

To estimate the results and the consequent value of a campaign 
of public information which could not be completed is both 
difficult and problematical. Nevertheless, I am confident in 
saying that all of the men engaged in the work, and also men 
in other official American services, felt at the close that the 
effort had justified itself and been worth while. 

The telegraph news service alone, reaching one hundred and 



fifty Siberian papers by our arrangement with the Russian Telegraph 
Agency in Omsk, was a great influence. 

When the division was ordered to demobilize, the friendly 
attitude of other American agencies, and especially the cordial 
co-operation of the headquarters of the American Expeditionary 
Forces and of the consulate general and branch consulates, were 
evidence that useful work had been accomplished. This evi- 
dence was reinforced by many expressions from Russians, samples 
of whose letters are given at the end of the report. 

Summing up the results of the work, I should say that the 
most valuable effect was the creation of a new sense of acquaint- 
ance with America and with the spirit of the American people. 
As one Siberian editor wrote, " I think that I am not mistaken 
when I say that, owing to the activities of the representatives 
of the American Press Bureau, democratic America will never 
again become a strange country of industrial kings to the popu- 
lation of Siberia." 

This establishment of a knowledge of the life and character 
of the rank and file of the American people, and of the broad 
range of their interests and activities, together with a sense of 
mutual sympathetic interest in common ideals and aspirations, 
is the most important achievement of the Siberian Department. 
The circulation of our material on the organization and growth 
of a modern democracy, with its creative principles of construc- 
tive change and development, may also do much to clear up the 
confusion existing in many Russian minds challenged for the first 
time with the problem of working out their own difficulties. 
All the evidence is that the work has laid a basis of friendly 
interest which will remain for future relations of co-operative 
good will. 

Coupled with this broader result and contributing to it are 
certain very specific things which the Siberian Department did. 
By circulating broadcast information about American war organi- 
zation and activity, it helped to convince the public mind in 
Siberia of the potential power of America and its promise of 
victory during the critical days when the issue of the war was 
still in doubt in 1918. By circulating information about the 
American peace program and the League of Nations proposal, 
embodied in the addresses of President Wilson, it helped to estab- 
lish confidence in the genuine disinterested sincerity of America 
as a nation and as a democracy in matters of international policy. 



By circulating information regarding the American policy con- 
cerning Russia, it served to create confidence in America as a 
country not seeking for internal control in Russia and Siberia 
and truly interested in free and fair play for Russians in the settle- 
ment of their own affairs. The circulation of information 
regarding the activities of American relief agencies, such as the 
American Red Cross, the American Railway Mission, and the 
American War Trade Board, as well as regarding the interest 
taken by Americans at home in Russian affairs and the progress 
of the Russian people in their struggle for a better order under 
free institutions, has at the same time kept alive the sense of 
American friendship and sympathy. Circulation of information 
regarding American methods of agriculture and industry and 
regarding the life of the American farmer and the efforts for better- 
ment of the conditions of life of the worker, regarding the activi- 
ties of the American government in the interest of the people, 
and regarding the powers and opportunities which the people 
of the United States have for changing and perfecting their 
institutions, have both corrected many false impressions of 
America and tended to develop new standards in Russian minds 
for their own national life and system of government. 

Part III 


THE Peace Treaty has been attacked from many sides 
as a "failure in advertising." I agree. There can be 
no question that the Paris proceedings have never been 
placed before the people of the United States with any 
degree of clearness or in such manner as to put public 
opinion in possession of the truth, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth. 

When it is charged, however, that the failure is the fault 
of the Committee on Public Information because we did 
not conduct a "vigorous campaign," I disagree absolutely 
and unalterably. Nothing would have been more instantly 
attacked, and justly attacked, than the use of governmental 
machinery and public funds for any such purpose. Bad 
as conditions are to-day, they would be infinitely worse 
had the President attempted to support his cause by 
"press-agenting" with the people's money. As for the 
Committee on Public Information, its duties ceased auto- 
matically when fighting ceased. 

Within twenty-four hours from the signing of the armis- 
tice orders were issued for the immediate cessation of every 
domestic activity of the Committee on Public Information. 
Many of the divisions had a continuing value, but I had 
the deep conviction that the Committee was a war or- 
ganization only, and that it was without proper place in 
the national life in time of peace. War is a simple fact, 


with victory as its one objective. Peace is far from simple, 
and has as many objectives as there are parties and 
political aims and prejudices. No matter how honest its 
intent or pure its purpose, a Committee on Public In- 
formation operating in peace-times would be caught in- 
evitably in the net of controversy, affording the highly 
improper spectacle of a government organization using 
public moneys to advance the contentions of one side or 
the other. The President was in thorough agreement with 
me and the order for domestic demobilization had his 
explicit approval. 

On November 14th announcement was made of the 
discontinuance of the volunteer censorship agreement. 

On November 15th a formal statement was issued to 
the effect that all press censorship in connection with cables 
and mails had been discontinued. 

The question that next arose was in connection with 
publicity arrangements for the Peace Conference in Paris. 
There was a general assumption that the government 
would exercise certain authorities and controls, and that 
I would act as administrative agent. It was against this 
assumption that I entered immediate and vigorous protest, 
taking the matter straight to the President. What I 
insisted upon was the government's immediate and com- 
plete surrender of every supervisory function as far as 
news was concerned and the restoration to the press of 
every power, liberty, and independence. This course, in 
my opinion, was dictated by common sense as well as by 
propriety. The Republican papers, as a matter of course, 
were insistent that the Administration should abandon all 
publicity effort, but it was also the case that the press, as 
a whole, was flatly in favor of the step. From every quar- 
ter came the demand for full release from restraint, sug- 
gestion, or "interference" of any kind. There was also 
Congress to be considered. 



The League of Nations was the chief issue to be fought 
out in the Peace Conference and the Republican majority 
in the Senate was already serving notice that it would be 
regarded as a controversial and political question. Any 
attempt at government supervision, regardless of its hon- 
esty and helpfulness, was sure to be seized upon by the 
Republican Senators and by the Republican press as an 
effort of the Administration to "muzzle the press" and to 
give the people no other information than that favorable 
to the President's cause. 

What I urged was the lifting of every barrier, full per- 
mission and aid for every American newspaper man de- 
siring to go to Paris, open sessions of the Peace Conference, 
and instant demand upon England and France that Amer- 
ican news should be exempted from censorship of any kind. 

The President stated that he stood unqualifiedly for 
open sessions, authorized the announcement that all pass- 
port regulations would be lifted in the case of accredited 
newspaper men, and in the course of a few days informed 
me that the governments of France and England had 
acceded to his request that the despatches of American cor- 
respondents should not be subjected to censorship. These 
facts were duly given to the press, and all was "quiet along 
the Potomac." 

With Peace Conference publicity disposed of presum- 
ably, and with the domestic activities of the Committee 
in process of settlement, there then remained only the 
Foreign Section with its representatives in every capital, 
its intricate machinery, and with hundreds of thousands of 
dollars involved in the adjustment of assets and liabilities. 
Paris was the one logical center for this demobilization 
and the President believed that the importance of this 
liquidation required my personal attention. At the same 
time, with his usual kindliness of thought, he asked me 
to be his guest on the George Washington if I could make 



my plans coincide with his sailing date. This, then, was 
why I went to Paris, and how I happened to be on the 
George Washington. The wisdom of my course in taking 
a stand against "salesmanship" was soon demonstrated in 
conclusive fashion. 

To assist in the heavy detail of checking the books of 
the European offices, in paying bills, selling assets, and col- 
lecting money due, I sent an advance delegation to Paris, 
consisting of Mr. Edgar G. Sisson, director of the Foreign 
Section; his associate, Mr. Carl Byoir; and a force of ac- 
countants and stenographers. The New York World, on 
the alleged authority of some member of the party whose 
name was not given, announced that these purely clerical 
employees constituted "The United States Official Press 
Mission to the Peace Conference." 

At almost the same time the Postmaster-General an- 
nounced the taking over of the cables, an action as remote 
as the moon from my authority and duties. Straightway 
the inevitable Senate group Reed, Watson, Hiram 
Johnson, Sherman, and New started off with their full- 
mouthed baying, and the press, with equal recklessness 
and enthusiasm, joined in the hue and cry. The President, 
Mr. Burleson, and I were in a deep and dark conspiracy 
to gag, stifle, muzzle, and throttle. With the cables in our 
clutches, mine was to be the task of censorship in Paris, 
my autocratic whim would decide what news of the Peace 
Conference should reach the people of the United States, 
and my "interpretations" would be forced upon suffering 

As a matter of course, no Senator made the slightest 
effort to ascertain the facts, the press carried their f ulmina- 
tions with glaring head-lines, and editors thundered against 
the hapless stenographers composing "The United States 
Official Press Mission" and denounced my "iniquitous 
pact" with Mr. Burleson. The following statement was 



issued on November 21st in an effort to stem the tide of 
absurdity and falsehood: 

With respect to my charged connection with the cables and 
cable censorship, there is no such connection, nor will there 
be any. 

On November 14th announcement was made by the Committee 
on Public Information of the discontinuance of the volunteer 
censorship agreement under which the press of the United 
States has operated with the government. 

On November 15th a formal statement was issued to the 
effect that all press censorship in connection with cables and mails 
would be discontinued forthwith. 

There is, therefore, no press censorship of any kind existing 
in the United States to-day. No plan of resumption has been 
suggested or even contemplated. 

The whole domestic machinery of the Committee on Public 
Information is being dismantled and will cease operation by 
December 15th at the very latest. As for my work in Europe, 
and that of the Committee on Public Information, it will have 
absolutely no connection whatsoever with the control of the 
cables, any form of censorship, or any supervision over the 

The charge that I will have control of all publicity in connec- 
tion with the Peace Commission has no base in fact. The policy 
decided upon is that there shall be no selection or discrimination 
in the matter of the representation of the press either in the 
matter of passports or in foreign arrangements. Any responsible 
newspaper man is entitled to go and equally entitled to fair and 
impartial treatment abroad. 

These men, on the ground and with every right and chance 
to observe, estimate, and interview, will write as they please 
and with their usual independence. As for press arrangements, 
conveniences, and privileges, these matters will necessarily be 
governed in large degree by the desires of the authorities of the 
country in which the Peace Conference is held. 

The one proper effort of the Committee on Public Information 
will be to open every means of communication to the press of 
America without dictation, without supervision, and with no 
other desire than to facilitate in every manner the fullest and 
freest flow of news. 
27 405 


This statement clarified the atmosphere in some degree, 
but attack continued from many quarters, and as late as 
November 29th Mr. Roosevelt, in public print, accepted 
the story that my stenographers and accountants were 
"The United States Official Press Mission to the Peace 
Conference," added that these men and women had been 
sent by the President himself, and asserted that the whole 
purpose was the determination of the President to "make 
the news sent out from the Peace Conference to ourselves, 
our allies, and our enemies what they desire to have told 
from their own standpoint, and nothing more." 

On November 23d, or thereabouts, a committee of the 
Washington correspondents came to me to learn my plans 
for "handling them." It was an amazing situation that 
had more humor in it than irritation. Before me were the 
very men who had been most insistent that "Creel must 
take his hands off," that there must be "no interference 
with correspondents," and as a consequence of their clamor 
I had issued a public statement binding myself to avoid 
even an appearance of supervision. 

It developed, however, that none of them had taken the 
trouble to engage passage or to apply for passports, and 
that unless authoritative help came quickly they stood 
small chance of getting to France in time. At the request 
of these correspondents, and acting entirely in a personal 
capacity, I went to the President and begged him to let 
the newspaper group travel with him on the George Wash- 
ington. He pointed out that there was no way by which 
any fair discrimination could be made, and that if one cor- 
respondent were given the privilege, the same invitation 
would necessarily have to be extended to every other 
correspondent in the United States. He explained further 
that the accommodations on the George Washington were 
not unlimited, as every one seemed to suppose, and that 
the inclusion of the Peace Commission, the scores of ex- 



perts attached to the commission, the State Department 
group, etc., had already brought about a condition of con- 
gestion. With the full approval of the correspondents I 
then devoted my efforts to placing the representatives of 
the Associated Press, United Press, and the International 
News Service on the George Washington, and these three 
men were asked by the President as his guests. This done, 
I took up with the War Department the question of 
securing a transport for the use of such correspondents as 
desired to go to France. The Orizaba happened to be the 
one boat available, and while it was not a Cunarder, it was 
a good seaworthy boat, and at the time there was no quar- 
rel with it whatsoever, only a great thanksgiving that a 
ship of any kind had been secured. These activities on 
my part, undertaken entirely at the request of the cor- 
respondents themselves, aroused a new outcry in the 
Senate, and even in some of the newspapers that I was try- 
ing to serve, and on November 27th the following state- 
ment was issued: 

It has been arranged that the representatives of the press 
associations will travel with the President and the official party. 

With the approval of the President, the Secretary of War 
has set aside the transport Orizaba to carry duly accredited 
newspaper correspondents to France. The Orizaba will leave 
the Hoboken dock at twelve o'clock noon Sunday, December 1st. 
All passengers will report to General McManus at the port of 
embarkation, Pier 3. 

In the matter of the sailing-list no discrimination will be made 
or special privilege granted. All newspaper men duly accredited 
by responsible newspapers are entitled to passage. 

Passports have to be vised by the various consuls in New York. 
Applications that have not yet been made should be filed at once 
and reported to me. Likewise, applications that have been 
made but have not yet been acted upon. The State Department 
is extending every aid in the interest of expedition, and press 
passports will be lifted out of the regular routine. 

It is requested, and hoped, that correction will be made of 



the very untrue report that any attempt will be made to interfere 
in any manner with the free flow of news from America to Europe, 
or from Europe to America. The whole effort of government, 
from the first, has been to assure adequate and authoritative 
representation of the press at the Peace Conference and to assist 
news distribution in every possible way. 

There is no press censorship of any kind in the United States 
to-day, and at the personal request of the President the French 
and English governments have lifted all censorship regulations 
bearing upon American press matters. 

The widely circulated rumor that George Creel, chairman of 
the Committee on Public Information, will have control of official 
publicity in connection with the Peace Conference is absolutely 
without foundation. There will be no such control, and the 
situation itself precludes any such control. The Peace Confer- 
ence itself will undoubtedly decide upon the manner of announ- 
cing its deliberations and decisions, and the right of correspondents 
to free movement and interviews is, of course, one that cannot 
be abridged in any degree. 

The Postmaster-General is maintaining a study of the cables, 
with a view to aiding the press in every possible way, and will 
shortly make his own statement. 

Mr. Creel, who has made all arrangements for the discontinu- 
ance of the domestic work of the Committee on Public Informa- 
tion, is proceeding to Europe to wind up the work of the Foreign 
Section. He has no connection whatsoever with the Peace 

The representatives of the Committee on Public Information 
who sailed last week did not in any manner constitute an offi- 
cial Peace Conference press mission. They were stenographers, 
accountants, film men, and division heads, not one of whom will 
have connection with the Peace Conference or with the prepara- 
tion of the Conference's press matter. Their sole duties will be 
the completion of the Committee's foreign work and settlement 
of contracts and business details incident to the absolute cessation 
of activity. 

The Departments of State and War threw down all 
barriers in the matter of passports, the embarkation officials 
at Hoboken worked overtime, and through a dreary Sun- 
day I sat wearily signing credentials asking foreign govern- 



ments to show the bearers every possible courtesy, privi- 
lege, consideration, etc. Conservative, radical, Democratic, 
and Republican, all went down into the Orizaba in the 
order of their application, and the one joy that I had 
out of it was to know that the correspondents of re- 
actionary papers like the Sun and Tribune were to travel 
for seven days with Abraham Cahan of the Vorwdrts, and 
Reuben Spink of the Socialist Call. 

On December 4th I sailed on the George Washington, 
but even the sea afforded no refuge. Two days after my 
departure, a Paris despatch charged that the Committee 
on Public Information would take control of the Euro- 
pean cables, "ration" space to the correspondents; and 
that all official communications to the press from the 
Paris Conference would pass through my hands. I was the 
one person with authority to make such an announcement; 
I was on the sea and had left behind me flat statements 
that guaranteed the absolute freedom of the press. Upon 
arrival in Paris, investigation disclosed that the despatch 
had no base whatsoever save in the imagination of the cor- 
respondent that sent it. Yet Senator Hiram Johnson 
and the others of his ilk accepted the lie without question, 
and The Philadelphia North American even printed this 
infamous attack: 

Some indication of the course to be pursued was given to-day 
when Senate anger again found expression as the result of the 
cabled information from Paris that George Creel is to decide 
how much news matter each newspaper correspondent may 
file for cable transmission each day, and is to pass upon every 
official statement that is to be given out from the American 

This announcement is in direct conflict with the statement 
made by President Wilson in his speech on Monday that there 
was to be no censorship or restriction imposed by the government 
upon the information to be sent from the Peace Conference to 
this country, and that in the interest of publicity he had induced 



the governments of Great Britain and France to lift their cen- 
sorship news. 

It is an absolute exposure of the falsity of the statement made 
by George Creel that he has gone to France to wind up the 
affairs of the Public Information Committee and will have noth- 
ing to do with preparation or transmission of information con- 
cerning the conferences. 

In fact, Congress and the public have every reason to feel 
that both the President and Creel made statements to the 
American public which were deliberately planned to deceive, 
and the uncomfortable inference suggests itself that since these 
statements are shown to have been untrue, no other statements 
they may issue can the public accept with absolute confidence 
of their reliability. 

Johnson cried, "What a sad thing it is that Creel should 
ration the news which is to be received by the American 
people the news concerning developments that may mean 
the whole future of our Republic." New of Indiana even 
went into figures, stating that the press allotment on the 
cables, as fixed by me, would be twenty-eight thousand 
words a day, a limit that he boldly branded as "ridiculous." 
Even when the report stood proved as a lie and when it 
became indisputably apparent that the attacks were false, 
not one word of retraction or apology ever came from the 
Senators or from The North American and such other 
papers as had spread the slanders. 

Another charge made freely to-day is that "Creel's 
Committee might have done something to provide for the 
comfort and convenience of the newspaper workers in 
Paris and so saved its scalp." Under this head the prin- 
cipal complaint is that the correspondents were not 
"housed in their own American club, led, guided, stimu- 
lated at every step of the Conference proceedings." To 
make the case more conclusive, it is stated that a business 
man of large affairs made an offer to lease a hotel or apart- 
ment-house in Paris for the American correspondents 



where they would be lodged and fed, provided with every 
working convenience, and informed at regular intervals 
by prominent Americans and internationalists as to the 
problems upon which the new treaty would be founded. 
This man, invariably anonymous, was ready to under- 
write such a scheme up to a quarter of a million dollars, 
but "the Committee on Public Information laughed at 
this offer and promptly proceeded to ignore it." 

No such offer was ever made to me or to any other 
executive of the Committee. Knowing the difficulties 
under which the correspondents would labor in Paris, I 
took the chance of instructing Mr. Sisson to engage and 
equip working quarters for the American press, and he 
took the old James Gordon Bennett apartments on the 
Champs-Elysees and fitted them up with desks and type- 
writers. Almost instantly despatches commenced to go 
back to the United States declaring that we were squander- 
ing government money in a secret attempt to control the 
press, and, finally convinced that any effort to help the 
correspondents directly would be misinterpreted, I gave 
orders to surrender the lease and dismantle the place. 

As evidence of my own shortcomings and the superior 
propaganda genius of the French, many correspondents 
glowingly described "the remarkable international press 
club which the French government set up in the Champs- 
Ely sees." This is really humorous. When I saw that it 
would not be possible for the American government to 
do anything of its own initiative, I went to M. Tardieu 
and M. Aubert, with whom I had been closely associated 
in Washington during their service in the French High 
Commission, and the three of us made the plans for the 
establishment of the French press club in the Hotel Dufayal. 
On a bitter winter morning M. Aubert and I tramped 
through the chilly palace, deciding upon general arrange- 
ment and specific quarters, and it was the Committee that 



furnished a large part of the desks and typewriters. It 
was planned that this should be a home for all correspond- 
ents and that the prominent men of all nations would 
be invited there to talk over Peace Conference problems 
for the information of the writers. I might say that 
the failure of the plan constituted one of the French 
government's bitter disappointments. The last thing 
that the correspondents wanted was to be guided and 
instructed and stimulated. What they were after was 
news, and the Peace Conference itself was the one news 

Various correspondents are also ardent in this admira- 
tion of the French for the manner in which they conducted 
visitors over the devastated areas, for "compared with it 
the best of our American efforts were almost as nothing." 
During the war, when it was our business to impress the 
world with the power of America, our Paris office main- 
tained smooth-working machinery for the exploitation of 
the American effort in France. In conjunction with the 
army, the newspaper men of Spain, Holland, England, 
Scandinavia, Italy, and all other nations, were taken on 
tours that covered the entire activities of the A. E. F. 
With the armistice this work ended naturally, and nothing 
would have been more improper and unwise than for the 
American government to take correspondents over the 
devastated area in competition with the French. 

As a matter of fact, however, the Committee was the 
moving spirit behind most of the trips on which the cor- 
respondents were taken. Not only did we work with the 
French government on such plans, but through Mr. Fred- 
erick H. Wile, Lord Northcliffe's representative, it was 
arranged that all the American correspondents should be 
the guests of the British government during the President's 
visit in England. From the Italian government I secured 
a similar invitation, along with a special train and an offer 



to take the entire group of American correspondents over 
the Italian battle-front. 

When the President decided to spend Christmas Day 
at Chaumont, it was the Committee that arranged for a 
special train for the correspondents and it was the Com- 
mittee that paid for it. 

What with all these arrangements, and especially the 
Italian trip, which had to be planned in conjunction with 
a grand-opera tenor in uniform, I was compelled to stay 
in Paris when the President went to London, and by way 
of showing a delicate and restrained appreciation of my 
efforts, The New York Sun correspondent sent a despatch 
from London that I was not with the President because I 
had quarreled with him and that I was making plans to 
leave at once for the United States. 

Praise has been given, and very properly, to the help- 
fulness of Mr. Ray Stannard Baker, also to the President's 
agreement that the correspondents should have a daily 
conference each morning with the American members of 
the Peace Commission. On the second day after my ar- 
rival in Paris I took up with the President this matter of 
a daily conference and secured his consent to it. It was 
at my request, joined in by Colonel House, that the Pres- 
ident signed the order attaching Mr. Baker to the Peace 
Commission to act as its press representative. From the 
first I begged the President to meet regularly with the 
correspondents and it was his sincere desire to do this, 
and it would have been done but for the back-breaking 
burdens that he bore, the demands that took every second 
of his time, and the constantly changing situation that 
made it impossible to talk with any degree of certainty. 

These things done, I had the feeling that the Committee, 
as far as was properly in its power, had discharged its full 
duty in aiding the press of America to obtain the news. 
What remained to be done was to help the correspondents 



to transmit the news with the greatest possible degree of 
speed. The cables were abnormally congested. Not only 
was the press of the world assembled in Paris, but the war 
had left only four transatlantic cables available for use, 
and as a consequence incredible delays developed unavoid- 
ably. To meet the situation, Mr. Walter S. Rogers, direc- 
tor of the Committee's Foreign Wireless and Cable Service, 
was placed unreservedly at the disposal of the correspond- 
ents and directed to find a "way out." As a first measure 
to lighten the cable load, the Committee agreed to transmit 
to the United States all formal statements, speeches of 
the President, and other like matter requiring textual 
sending, and to make simultaneous delivery in New York 
to the three press associations. Even when the matter 
had to be sent by cable, two additional sendings were 
saved, and when flashed by wireless the entire load was 
lifted from the cable. 

A second step was in the direction of aid to individual 
correspondents. The navy, in charge of the wireless, was 
forbidden by law to charge tolls, nor could it even receive 
private messages; but in view of the importance of giving 
the American public all possible news of the peace deliber- 
ations it was agreed that the Committee on Public In- 
formation might undertake the delivery of the matter to 
the American press. 

After many negotiations the French government and the 
United States navy entered into an arrangement through 
which the Committee was able to offer thirty-five hundred 
words daily on the wireless, absolutely free of charge, to 
the American correspondents in Paris. The correspondents 
themselves, formed into an association, allotted the word- 
age as they saw fit, handed copy to the Committee in Paris, 
and from our office it went over the American army wires 
to the French wireless station at Lyons and from Lyons to 
the Committee's office in New York for distribution. 



At no time did the Foreign Press Cable Service under- 
take to deliver analytical articles or "propaganda matter" 
to the American press. The matter sent for simultaneous 
release consisted solely of official statements, speeches, 
and announcements, and merely the bare text of these. 
We construed our service to be the delivery of these docu- 
ments textually, leaving it to the newspapers to draw con- 
clusions or to describe the events in connection with the 
issuance of such statements. Emphasis should also be 
laid on the fact that this division at no time exercised any 
censorship on any articles prepared by any correspondents 
for American newspapers. 

The consummation of these arrangements marked the 
limit of proper effort on the part of the Committee. Eng- 
land, France, and Italy were the hosts of the American 
press; every battle-front was to be shown the correspond- 
ents; an incredibly magnificent press club stood provided 
for them; daily contacts with the American peace com- 
missioners were being held; cable and wireless facilities, 
free of charge, were at their disposal, and no censorship 
stood in the way. 

Future arrangements were entirely and absolutely in 
the hands of the Peace Conference itself. There was no 
other way. Nothing stands so clear as that it would have 
been suicidal for the President to have used a single govern- 
ment dollar or a piece of government machinery for pub- 
licity purposes in connection with the Peace Conference. 
If plain downright lies had the power to stir the Repub- 
lican press and the Republican Senators into rage and 
abuse, imagine the storm that would have been aroused 
had any of the reports of press-agenting been based upon 
fact. In the very nature of the case, dependence had to 
be placed upon the activities of the Conference itself and 
upon the spirit in which the correspondents reported and 
interpreted these activities. 



This spirit was bad. The Peace Treaty failed because 
the press itself failed in its duty of proper information, 
and the press failed because it interested itself only in the 
personal and obvious, not in the educational and inter- 
pretative. And the reason for this misplaced emphasis 
goes back to the bitter fact that partizans made the Peace 
Treaty a party question instead of letting it shine out as 
a nation's pledge. 



fin HROUGHOUT these two weeks of press arrangements 
JL the work of dismantling the Foreign Section was pro- 
ceeding steadily. Orders went out to the Committee's 
commissioners in every country to "close shop," settle 
accounts, and make the best possible disposition of fur- 
niture, fixtures, films, and all other assets. The only 
offices kept alive were those in Paris and New York, and 
these were skeleton organizations for news distribution. 

It was my deep desire to make a clean sweep, but the 
American Peace Commission was of the opinion that some 
machinery should be left to assure the proper world dis- 
tribution of official policies and positions in times of crisis. 
There was also our agreement with the American corre- 
spondents in the matter of the wireless and cable accommo- 
dations. Walter Rogers and Herman Suter, therefore, 
"stayed on the job" in Paris, handling the daily service 
for the press, and at the disposal of the Peace Commission 
for putting official statements into the channels of world- 

With demobilization in full swing, but one constructive 
task remained to be discharged. While much of our matter 
had penetrated Middle Europe during the war, it was still 
the case that enemy censorship had prevented any com- 
plete approach. What we wanted to do, the thing that 
we felt it necessary to do, was to drive home, once and 
for all, the idealism of America and the blood-guilt of 



Germany. Poles, Czechs, Austrians, Hungarians, and 
Jugoslavs were crystallizing into new political shapes, and 
nothing seemed more desirable than that they should have 
the facts in the case in order that their determinations might 
form along lines acceptable to the new world. 

In accordance with an arrangement made previously 
with President Masaryk it was decided that Prague should 
be our headquarters, and from the Division of Military 
Intelligence we borrowed Capt. Emanuel Voska, a man 
who fitted our plans as skin fits the hand. A native of 
Bohemia and an ardent patriot from his boyhood, Captain 
Voska had been compelled to find safety in exile when still 
a young man, and in 1914 was the head of a prosperous 
business. He saw in the World War the chance for Bo- 
hemian independence, and, quitting everything, he began 
the task of turning the Bohemian National Alliance into 
a war body. Undoubtedly he will tell his own story some 
day. It must suffice at this time to say that it was Cap- 
tain Voska, more than any other one man, who defeated 
German intrigue in the United States and worked the ex- 
posure of Dumba and von Bernstorff. Czechs, speaking 
German perfectly, were placed in Austrian consulates and 
in every like office, so that every move of the plotters was 
known to Captain Voska in its inception. At first he worked 
in connection with the British Secret Service, but when 
America entered the war he put himself and his organiza- 
tion at the disposal of the War Department and joined 
the Military Intelligence with the rank of captain. 

It was this man that we wanted to help us now. As 
his assistants Captain Voska selected five Czechs from 
the American army and borrowed five Czechoslovak 
legionaries from the French men who spoke Czech, 
Polish, Magyar, German, and the various tongues of Jugo- 
slavia. One was a radio expert. It was not only our plan 
to print selected publications in the various tongues, but 



to make arrangements to put the various wireless stations 
in touch with the wireless station at Lyons. 

On January 1st I left Paris for Rome with the President 
and was joined there a few days later by Mr. Byoir. Mr. 
Sisson, going by way of Berne, wound up our affairs in 
Switzerland and reached Rome on January 8th. By that 
time Mr. Byoir and I had finished the Italian settlement 
with Mr. Hearley and the three of us set out that night for 
Padua, where Captain Voska and his party were waiting 
for us. 

There was no passenger service of any kind between 
Italy and Bohemia, and Captain Voska had arranged that 
we were to travel to Prague with a troop-train of Czecho- 
slovak legionaries. There were about one thousand of 
them veterans who had seen fighting on many fronts 
and with their horses and guns and baggage they filled 
thirty-five freight-cars. For our own accommodation we 
managed to secure a battered passenger-coach, stripped of 
all upholstery and indescribably dirty. To add to con- 
gestion our party of fourteen was asked to share this car 
with Colonel Phillippe, the French officer in charge of 
the legionaries, also his aides, and with the newly ap- 
pointed British charge d'affaires who was trying to reach 
Prague at the earliest possible moment. 

The journey to Prague from Padua took almost four days, 
a weary crawl through the devastated Piave plain and 
over the Alps, with never a chance to get the bitter cold 
out of one's marrow. We took off nothing but our hats 
when we slept on the narrow seats, and aside from hot coffee, 
made over charcoal braziers, we ate out of mail-sacks that 
we had filled with dried apricots, Italian bread, "bully 
beef," and canned stuff. Heaven only knows what would 
have happened to us but for the blankets loaned in Padua 
by the American Red Cross! The stations in Austria were 
closed as we passed, owing to fear of trouble, and all that 



we saw of the people were sullen faces peering at us through 
railings or from the hills. They looked well fed and fat, 
the villages were whole and the land unravaged all in 
sharp contrast to the hunger and devastation of France 
and Italy. I knew, as every one must know, that the peace 
of the world depended upon just treatment of these de- 
feated enemies, but I could not help thinking that justice 
took much of the joy out of life. 

The one thrill of the dreary journey came to us on the 
night when we reached the border of what had once been 
the ancient kingdom of Bohemia and which was now the 
boundary-line of the free Republic of Czechoslovakia. For 
an hour the whole train had hummed to a vast excitement, 
for among the legionaries were many men who had gone 
into exile as youths, and others who had been fighting for 
four years, out of touch entirely with their homes and 
people. No sooner had we stopped at the little station 
across the border than every legionary was off the train, 
kissing the sacred soil that had been won at last from the 
Austrian. Officers and men embraced with tears running 
down their cheeks, then the entire thousand grouped 
reverently and, lifting their faces to the hills and the stars, 
sang the national hymn of Bohemia a song in a minor 
key for the most part, like the songs of all oppressed 
peoples but rising at the end to a tremendous challenge 
that rang like a trumpet. And after that a great cheering 
for America, "the hope of the world." 

We reached Prague Monday noon, January 13th, and 
a second thrill came to us as its patriot citizens received 
the heroes who had helped to make independence possible. 
A wonderful old city and a still more wonderful people. 
As we came to see them and hear them it was easy to under- 
stand how they had held to their national aspirations 
through five centuries of oppression, rising at last in unity 
and strength. Not even Americans are more in love with 



freedom than these Czechoslovaks, and, what is finest, 
their patriotism did not disintegrate with victory. They 
massed behind the beloved Masaryk as a unit, putting 
country above party and political feuds, and in the Cabinet 
that worked as a team there were Socialists, Agrarians, 
and even a jolly old Catholic priest as director-general of 
railroads. Of all the countries in Europe, Czechoslovakia 
had courage, purpose, and high resolve. 

We saw President Masaryk almost immediately, were 
quickly put in touch with other officials, and in twenty- 
four hours work was under way. One group went at the 
task of "tuning up" the government wireless station to 
a point where it could receive our service from Paris, and 
the rest of us grappled with the questions of paper and 

The five pamphlets intended for distribution were these: 
How the War Came to America, German War Practices 
in Conquered Territory, German Intrigue in the United 
States, America's War Aims and Peace Terms, and 
The German - Bolshevik Conspiracy. For each of these 
we had the translations in Czech, Polish, Magyar, 
Croatian, German, and Ukrainian. This circulation was 
of vital importance, in the opinion of President Masaryk 
and his associates, for out of the fifteen million inhabi- 
tants of Czechslovakia full three million were Germans 
and there were also large numbers of Hungarians. The 
selected pamphlets were meant to do three things: first, 
to drive home the meanings and purposes of America; 
second, to show the guilt, the cruelty, and the monstrous 
plans of Germany; third, to expose the German direction 
of the Bolshevik revolution. Mr. Haberman, head of the 
Department of Education, put his machinery at our dis- 
posal and assumed entire responsibility for the distribution 
of the pamphlets to schools, churches, the papers, and the 
leaders of thought in every community. 

28 421 


Leaving Captain Voska to follow through the printing 
arrangements, Mr. Sisson, Mr. Byoir, and I left on Friday 
for Cracow, for Poland, also had a very grave German 
problem in Galicia. In a stay of two days we managed to 
put the government wireless station in touch with Paris, 
but the paper and printing situation forced us to reach the 
decision that Prague would have to take care of our Polish 
publications. Telegrams from Paderewski urged me to 
come to Warsaw, and a special train was put at our dis- 
posal, but as such a trip was without values other than 
social and sightseeing, we were compelled to refuse. 

Leaving Cracow, with committees still beseeching us to 
go to Warsaw, we returned to Prague by way of Slovakia. 
We had interpreters with us, but it was amazing always 
in Czechoslovakia to see how many spoke English. As a 
result of conferences usually held on the train, complete 
arrangements were made for the pamphlet distribution 
in Slovakia and Moravia. 

Reaching Prague at noon on Thursday we found that 
Captain Voska had the wireless arrangements well under 
way and that the printing program was going through 
without a hitch. That very afternoon I left for Budapest, 
taking one interpreter with me. Captain Voska was to 
stay in Prague until he had finished the work and Mr. 
Sisson and Mr. Byoir were to leave on Friday for Vienna 
to look after the Austrian end of the machinery. It was 
agreed that we should meet in Trieste on Monday morning, 
an arrangement that meant hard traveling. 

We were lucky enough to get a compartment on the night 
train to Vienna, and Czabulk, my interpreter, and I had 
visions of an uncrowded night. At the last moment, how- 
ever, we picked up Lester Perrin, a young Detroit boy 
who had wandered into Prague after his release from the 
German prison-camps in Poland. The poor youngster was 
without money, and the certainty of his delay in getting 



in touch with the American military authorities in Paris 
made me decide to take him with me. In Vienna we left 
Perrin to wait for Sisson and Byoir and hurried on without 
halt. Where once fifteen express-trains ran daily between 
Vienna and Budapest there was now but one a day, a 
wretched collection of battered third-class cars. The very 
highest official influence was necessary to get us a compart- 
ment on this train and it took a guard of soldiers to force 
us into it through the jam of passengers. Once in, we locked 
the door and gave ourselves over to happy contemplation 
of the two long seats that would permit us to have a regular 
"lie-down" sleep. The corridor, however, was jammed 
with people and I found it utterly impossible to' shut 
out the consciousness that the women among them were 
facing a long, bitter night on their feet. For a full half an 
hour my selfishness fought with my shame, but at last I 
told Czabulk to open the door and announce that the first 
women to reach the four seats could have them. We drew 
a Turk, two Hungarians, and an Austrian, and while the 
ample Turkish lady took far more than her fair share of 
room, she contributed a genial radiation that added ma- 
terially to the comfort of the night. We stopped two hours 
at the Austrian frontier while the entire train was searched 
for food-smuggling, and there were other stops of every 
kind, so that we did not reach Budapest until ten the next 

The Hungarian situation was deplorable to the last de- 
gree. Count Karolyi was in the president's chair, but it 
was plain to be seen that he could not last more than a 
couple of weeks unless the Allies decided upon some helpful 
action in his behalf. It was Karolyi who had agreed to 
the Franchet d'Esperey armistice, and it was the provisions 
of this armistice that were now being violated daily. On 
three sides the Czechs, the Jugoslavs, and the Serbs were 
making steady encroachments, while on the fourth side 



the Rumanians were sweeping forward in utter disregard 
of what should have been sacred agreements. The food 
situation was also reaching a crisis and Bela Kun, plenti- 
fully supplied with Bolshevik money, was preaching the 
gospel of a new revolt. 

The whole thing was tragic in the extreme. There was 
little or nothing that could be done, however. The only 
Americans on the ground were two representatives of the 
Food Commission, while I myself had neither the power 
nor the desire to interfere in the political matters that were 
the sole province of the State Department. All that I 
could do was to send an instant report to Paris, outlining 
the situation, and it was this report that brought a decla- 
ration from the Peace Conference to the effect that the 
boundary-lines laid down by Franchet d'Esperey must be 
respected. This helped tremendously for the moment, 
but as nothing was done to give force to the declaration, 
things became worse than before and in the course of a few 
weeks Karolyi was deposed and Bela Kun rose to power. 

I made arrangements for the government wireless to 
take our Paris service, but the first survey of the field 
made me realize that it was hopeless to attempt printing 
or distribution of any kind in Budapest. As a consequence, 
I sent instructions to Prague to have all the Magyar edi- 
tions printed there. 

Getting out of Budapest was even worse than getting 
in. At five o'clock on Sunday morning Czabulk and I 
climbed drearily into the usual cold, damp compartment 
of a third-class train, and at eight o'clock that evening 
reached Praegerhof, where we were supposed to change to 
a through train to Trieste. Instead of that we were trans- 
ferred to a local and rode until one o'clock in a car that had 
pine boards in place of windows. At Leibach, under 
Jugoslav control, we had another passport battle and 
changed again to the worst train of the trip. Not only 



was it without windows, but every inch of upholstering 
had been taken out. One explanation was that the sol- 
diers used the plush for clothing, but, although I looked 
hopefully for some such gleam of color, I failed to discover 
that any such use had been made of the material. At four 
o'clock in the morning we were thrown out at the town of 
Loich and found it in the hands of Italians, at that time 
busily engaged in pushing forward their "historical boun- 
daries." Only some petty officers were in charge and the 
fact that we came from Budapest made us the object of 
instant suspicion. For three mortal hours Czabulk argued 
in every tongue at his command, but without the slightest 
avail as far as I could see. The train for Trieste came 
along at seven and I told Czabulk to convey the information 
that we were going on board whether they liked it or not, 
since death itself was far preferable to another hour in 
such a hole. The officers followed us to the very steps, 
debating furiously, but in the end let us go our way in 
peace. Again we found ourselves in a car without windows 
or upholstery and all night a blizzard blew that bit through 
blankets and overcoats and froze our very bones. We 
reached Trieste at noon, and late that night the rest of the 
party came in from Vienna. At eight the next morning 
we were on a boat to Venice, from Venice we sped to Turin, 
and from Turin to Paris, reaching there the morning of 
January 31st. 

A hard, driving trip, but without a single neglect or 
one unspared effort to mar the achievement. In Prague 
we were printing the five pamphlets in Czech, Polish, 
Magyar, Croatian, German, and Ukrainian, with arrange- 
ments fully made for distribution to the schools, press, 
organizations, and leaders of thought in Czechoslovakia, 
Galicia, Saxony, Austria, Hungary, and certain parts of 
Jugoslavia. The wireless stations at Cracow, Prague, and 
Budapest were in touch with Paris. As far as humanly 



possible, we had carried the message of America to Mittel 

One other thing we did! Immediately upon arrival in 
Paris we laid a detailed report before the high authorities 
of the Food Commission, and it was this special pleading 
that won quick and effective relief for Czechoslovakia and 

With this satisfactory completion of the Middle-Europe 
task, and with every office closing with the exception of the 
cable and wireless service, the seat of settlement was now 



IT is doubtful if in all the annals of business, public and 
private, there is record of anything more utterly un- 
comprehensible than the action of Congress in destroying 
the Committee on Public Information in the very midst 
of its orderly liquidation. On June 30, 1919, every dollar 
of our appropriation, every dollar of our earnings, was 
swept back into the Treasury, and the Committee itself 
wiped out of existence, leaving no one with authority to 
sign a check, transfer a bank balance, employ a clerk, rent 
a building, or with any power whatsoever to proceed with 
the business of settlement. The action was so utterly mad 
that it could not have been anticipated, and yet had we 
been able to see into the future there was nothing that we 
could have done about it. 

When I returned to the United States in March, accom- 
panied by Mr. Sisson and Mr. Byoir, it was to find that 
Mr. O'Higgins, the associate chairman left in charge, had 
carried out the demobilization orders successfully, and that 
each of the domestic divisions had either ended its audit 
or else was completing it. The work of settlement in the 
Washington office was proceeding slowly, owing to the resig- 
nations of purely clerical employees, but as this was a mat- 
ter that concerned the business management only, I gave 
release to all executives upon the turning in of their ac- 
counts. I discharged myself on April 1st, but as a private 



citizen continued to assume full responsibility for the 
settlement, journeying to Washington week after week at 
my own expense, directing the liquidation personally. It 
seemed at the time, as indeed it was, a very simple proposi- 
tion of checking up, paying bills, collecting moneys due, 
and handing balances over to the Treasury. Mr. Sisson, 
Mr. Byoir, and Mr. Lee lived in New York and were at 
all times available for reference, and all other division 
heads stood ready to answer any call. 

The question of adequate clerical help became more 
and more a problem, however. The report spread that 
Congress was planning to "put the Committee out of 
business" entirely on June 30th, and while I protested 
that an auditing force would be retained, I could not give 
any definite pledge. As a consequence, the business office 
personnel dwindled daily as men and women accepted per- 
manent positions elsewhere. All through May and June 
we pleaded with Congress for a small appropriation that 
would permit the Committee to wind up its affairs. The 
Paris and New York offices were not to be closed until 
June 15th; there were many foreign commissioners yet to 
report; and in various banks reposed large balances wait- 
ing for audit and acceptance. Nor was it the case that the 
Committee begged with empty hands. We had already 
turned more than two million dollars into the Treasury, 
and yet we still had sufficient funds on hand to settle every 
bill and meet every liquidation expense. What we asked, 
in effect, was the right to use a small portion of our own 
earnings for proper purposes of settlement. At the last 
moment Congress refused flatly, and on June 30th the 
Committee on Public Information ceased to be. 

Acting entirely without authority, I persuaded E. H. 
Hobbs, an accountant, and Miss Gertrude Gocheler to 
stay on in charge of the books, and hired a night-watchman 
at my own risk. Then began a dreary round of the various 



departments in search of some one willing and able to take 
over the Committee's liquidation. Under the Overman 
Act the President had the power to assign this duty, but 
the trouble was that no department in Washington had 
money enough even for its own purposes and all strenu- 
ously resisted the effort to foist a new expense upon them. 
Once the President went so far as to sign an executive 
order turning the Committee's affairs over to the Treasury 
Department, but Secretary Glass entered such vigorous 
protest that the order had to be withdrawn. 

Of the Committee's three buildings, only one was being 
retained, and on June 30th notice of dispossession was 
given by the owners. Army trucks were borrowed, and the 
accumulated records of two years were packed and sent 
down to the old Fuel Administration building, where several 
small rooms were assigned to us. The whole proceeding 
was a nightmare. I had full responsibility without the 
slightest shadow of authority. Only Mr. Hobbs and Miss 
Gocheler were on hand to superintend the moving, and the 
forced nature of our departure, together with the absence 
of clerks familiar with the records, made confusion un- 
avoidable. Files and books and papers were piled mis- 
cellaneously by the truck men and the one effort for weeks 
was to straighten out the tangle. Additional auditors 
could not be employed, and as Hobbs himself was under 
a heavy bond, the situation commenced to get on his 

There was no secret as to my plight, but the correspond- 
ents, in the story sent out, seemed to regard it as a joke 
more than anything else and were of the opinion that 
"Congress had the laugh on Creel." Not until August 
21st did the mangled remains of the Committee find a 
resting-place. On this day the President signed an order 
that constituted the Council of National Defense our 
liquidating agency. As a consequence, the books and 



papers of the Committee were dumped into trucks for the 
second time and moved to the Council's own building. 
Whatever resemblance of orderly arrangement remained 
was entirely smashed by this last transfer. 

I went immediately to Secretary Baker, head of the 
Council, and to Mr. Clarkson, its director, and put myself, 
every executive, and every division head at their disposal. 
Particularly did I urge the employment of a competent 
accounting force in order that there might be speedy un- 
tanglement of the surface confusion caused by two months 
of inaction and the cartage of the Committee's records 
from place to place. As carefully as might be, I explained 
to the new force the nature of all unfinished business, and 
asked to be kept in constant touch with the liquidation. 
I heard nothing for weeks and on various occasions 
thereafter I went to Washington in an attempt to find 
out the causes of delay. I was so absolutely at the mercy 
of the Council, however, that I could not run the risk of 
arousing irritation by complaint or what might be con- 
ceived to be undue insistence. The records were mine 
and the responsibility was mine, but I was utterly without 
power or authority in the settlement. 

On October 30th, out of a clear sky, The New York World 
printed a long despatch from its Washington correspondent 
purporting to recite the contents of a report filed with 
Congress by the Council of National Defense. The posi- 
tive statement was made that this report charged me with 
"gross neglect," and there were equally positive statements 
that the Committee had cost $6,600,000, that all of the ex- 
ecutives of the Committee had deserted on the very day 
of the armistice, that checks and important papers littered 
the floors, and that it was virtually an impossibility to 
find out where the money had gone because of the utter 
confusion of my accounts. This story was copied almost 
word for word by the other New York dailies on the fol- 



lowing morning, and the Associated Press made haste to 
distribute it from coast to coast. Not one single paper or 
press association made the slightest effort to see me before 
printing the story in order to ascertain its truth or to permit 
me defense or explanation. Before the whole country I 
and my associates were held up to public shame as in- 
competents who had spent "a few delightful months wal- 
lowing in public money and then went away and left the 
whole mess to be cleaned up by others." Many papers 
were not content with printing these glaring charges, but 
followed the story up with editorial comment containing 
speculation as to how much money had "stuck to my 

I made instant answer, portions of which were printed 
by the more decent dailies, and then proceeded to Wash- 
ington at once. Upon arrival I learned that the Council 
of National Defense had filed no report with Congress and 
that it had made no charges of "gross neglect" against 
me, or charges of any kind whatsoever. What had hap- 
pened was this: The Council had been compelled to ask 
an auditing appropriation, and Senator Warren, chairman 
of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, had requested 
the Council to file a memorandum setting forth the uses 
to which the money would be put. This memorandum, 
in the form of a letter to Senator Warren, merely detailed 
the confusion of the Committee's records as the Council 
found them. Some member of the Committee, more con- 
cerned with newspaper favor than with his sense of honor, 
sneaked this letter out secretly to the correspondent of 
The New York World. 

I read the letter to Warren over very carefully, and while 
it was true that no charges of any kind were made against 
me, it was equally true that the letter was an invitation 
to misconstruction in many important particulars. For 
instance, the statement that checks and important papers 



were "on the floor" might well have been accompanied 
by the explanation that they were because Congress itself 
had dumped them there. It would have been more gen- 
erous and much more true had the Council pointed out 
the dispossession of the Committee on July 20th, the 
forced dismissal of the working force, our forced removal 
to the old Fuel Administration building, and the second 
removal to the building of the Council of National De- 
fense, the last under the supervision of the Council's own 

There was also a statement that the Committee had 
issued expense allowances "far in excess of the $1,000 
maximum limit fixed by Congress." I pointed out that 
these expenditures were from the President's fund, to which 
the Congressional limitation did not apply. As a matter 
of course, when men were sent to Russia, to China, and 
to other far places, it was absolutely necessary that they 
be given a lump sum for disbursement, although vouchers 
were required showing the expenditure of every dollar. 
The auditor confessed that he had not been aware of 
this ruling with respect to the President's fund and ad- 
mitted the mistake. 

The statement to which I took most bitter exception, 
Jiowever, was this: 

It appears that immediately after the signing of the armistice 
practically all of the officials of the Committee on Public Infor- 
mation threw up their jobs and returned to private life, leaving 
but a few of the minor officials in charge of the affairs of the 

The auditor's answer was that he thought that he 
was quoting me. What I had told him, however, was 
that the purely clerical employees of the Committee began 
accepting other positions as soon as the armistice was 
signed and when they saw that the Committee offered no 



hope of permanent employment. As I pointed out to him, 
he had the books before him that proved conclusively that 
no executive left until April 1st and that he knew by my 
own assurance, and by their own offers, that every man of 
them had been and was at his disposal. 

There was no disagreement on the statement of facts, 
but when I asked that these corrections should be embodied 
in an open letter there was instant demur. "They" knew 
and "they" understood and "they" regretted, and the "best 
thing to do" was to consider the incident closed. Any 
attempt at correction would only result in new publicity, 
and owing to the malicious attitude of many of the papers 
the situation might be made worse instead of better. 
Also was it not the case that I "exaggerated" the im- 
portance of the happening? While it was true that I and 
my associates, after two years of thankless drudgery, were 
being shamed as incompetents, deserters, and thieves, 
this was merely "part of the political game," and I should 
not "permit it to worry me." 

What was there to do but wait for the vindication of 
results! The Council agreed to push the work at top 
speed and also acquiesced in my demand that no bill of 
any kind whatsoever should be paid without reference to 
me and to the proper division head. It was admitted 
that the domestic accounts were in very good shape and 
that the chief trouble was with respect to the foreign work, 
particularly the wireless and cable service that continued 
until June 15th, just two weeks before Congress wiped the 
Committee out of existence. Mr. Rogers and Mr. Bullard 
were in Washington and came down to give further aid 
in the foreign accounts. Mr. C. D. Lee, the Committee's 
business manager throughout its existence, also left his 
affairs in New York for a Washington stay, and Mr. 
Sisson and Mr. Byoir were constantly in conference with me 
in the matter of accounts. The records were straightened 



out eventually, and as I had known from the first, the 
seeming confusion was found to be nothing more than the 
displacements of moving. Every dollar was found to have 
its proper voucher, and in addition, care and competence 
stood proved in the expenditure of every single cent. 



IT can be stated as an indisputable fact that not once 
in its existence was the Committee on Public Informa- 
tion attacked by any one with the slightest first-hand 
knowledge of its activities. In no case was denunciation 
ever preceded by the least attempt at investigation. 
Speaking advisedly and after careful checking, I say that 
every single public charge against the Committee was 
made by a person or persons who were in absolute ignorance 
of what we were doing, who made no effort to find out, 
and who even after the attack could not be induced to 
pay a visit of inspection. 

Perhaps the most illustrative incident of the kind was 
the case of one Hopewell Rogers, who, in the closing hours 
of the convention of the American Newspaper Publishers' 
Association, made a speech in which he scored the Com- 
mittee as useless, branded me as "incompetent and dis- 
loyal." It was a cruel and cowardly attack, for he timed 
it in such a manner that I was given no chance to appear 
in reply, and what gave it added bitterness was that 
Rogers, while slandering the sacrifices of hundreds of de- 
voted men and women, was himself holding his peace- 
time job and enjoying his peace-time profits. Putting 
personal anger to one side, however, I addressed myself 
to the task of turning the attack to account by using it 
as a means of forcing an investigation that would once 

29 437 


and for all establish the Committee's competency or in- 
competency. How the effort failed is set forth in the fol- 
lowing correspondence: 

April 29, 1918. 

The Birmingham News, Birmingham, Alabama. 

The following telegram was sent by me on the evening of 
April 25th: 


American Newspaper Publishers' Association, 
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City. 

Have just read report of your speech criticizing publicity 
policy of government. I assume your absolute sincerity, but 
feel that no criticism can be constructive when based only 
upon hearsay and personal opinion. In the interest of larger 
effectiveness I respectfully urge you to come to Washington, 
either with a committee or your entire membership, for a 
full and frank discussion of these mutual problems. I pledge 
full information as to every activity of the Committee on 
Public Information, and will welcome advice, suggestion, 
and co-operation. In view of your criticism given publicly 
as the head of a great organization, I feel strongly that your 
acceptance is compelled by fairness as well as the national 

It does not appear that this telegram was communicated 
either to the directors of thv / Association or to the delegates, 
nor have I had any reply from Mr. Rogers himself. I am writ- 
ing to you as the newly elected president of the American News- 
paper Publishers' Association, for the matters involved are of 
too great importance to be dismissed as a mere convention 

When Mr. Rogers accuses me of disloyalty, I am not greatly 
disturbed, for I feel that the devotions of a lifetime will weigh 
against any single reckless, unsupported statement made in 
prejudice and partizanship. When Mr. Rogers attacks my 
competency, however, the personal element disappears, for not 


only does he assail the entire educational work that the Committee 
on Public Information is doing in the United States, and in every 
other country in the world, but he impugns the motives and merits 
of thousands of patriotic men and women who have given them- 
selves wholeheartedly and unselfishly to this branch of the 
national service. 

Three thousand historians are at our call' in the preparation 
of pamphlet matter; virtually every writer of prominence is 
giving time to the work of the Committee; the Division of 
Advertising enlists the energies of every great advertising expert 
in the United States; there are close to fifty thousand speakers 
in the Four Minute Men; the war conferences of the states are 
under our supervision; men and women of all nationalities go 
from coast to coast at our bidding; the famous artists of the 
United States are banded together for the production of our 
posters; the motion-picture industry has been mobilized and is 
giving us ungrudging support without thought of financial 
return; and in every capital in the world there are men and 
women serving with courage and intelligence. 

I can readily understand how the Germans might insist that 
our effort was worthless, and that these thousands were labor- 
ing vainly and even disloyally, but it is amazing indeed that 
one who calls himself an American should level such a charge, 
especially when he has never taken the trouble to call upon me 
and knows absolutely nothing of the work of this Committee, 
its aims, and its plans. 

I insist that the American Newspaper Publishers' Association 
is compelled by every dictate of patriotism to prove or disprove 
the charges that Mr. Rogers made as its president. As stated 
in my telegram, I shall be glad to receive any committee, no 
matter what its size, welcoming the fullest possible investigation 
and so confident am I that I permit you, and even urge you, 
to compose it of men who have the idea that my work could be 
done more effectively. 

I have long felt the need of an advisory committee made up 
of those truly representative of the press of the United States, 
but I think you will agree with me that such a selection is attended 
with many difficulties. The American Newspaper Publishers' 
Association is the one great body in the field, and yet even this 
does not express the views and desires of the editorial room, 
with which the government is concerned, but represents the 



business control. That body of the press which deals with the 
news itself is without national organization, and any attempt 
to select from its vast personnel would involve an unfair dis- 
crimination at the very outset. 

I beg you to believe it is not only an injustice that I am seek- 
ing to have remedied. It is a great and necessary work that I 
am trying to protect. If the American Newspaper Publishers' 
Association can help me in any manner, or point out to me 
what larger efficiency can be secured, it is its duty. I shall be 
glad to receive this committee at any time. 




May , 1918. 
MR. GEORGE CREEL, Chairman, 

Committee on Public Information, City. 

Since the conference with you at the Cosmos Club on the part 
of Mr. McAneny and myself, we have been much engrossed 
with another matter of urgent interest to our Association. Never- 
theless, we have given your complaint and suggestions serious 

As the successor of Mr. Rogers in the presidency of the Amer- 
ican Newspaper Publishers' Association I do not think I have 
any function in replying to your strictures upon his recent 
criticism. I do not believe that Mr. Rogers could have had any 
wish to imply that his utterances were to be accepted as the 
opinion of the American Newspaper Publishers' Association 
rather than as his OWE personal views. I may assure you, 
however, that I do not entertain, myself, the view that you have 
been disloyal to our country in any of your utterances or work. 

Nevertheless, I am impressed with an important lesson of the 
incident, and that there should be a more thorough knowledge 
on the part of the public of your Committee's function and work. 
I am convinced that such a knowledge would be most beneficial 
to the country and especially to the newspapers. It is also 
probable that thereby your Committee's power for good would 
be strengthened. 

In line with this view and with your own urgent request I 



shall, therefore, appoint a committee of representative newspaper 
men connected with the membership of our Association, to come 
to Washington and to give the proper time to a careful inquiry 
into the work your Committee is doing, with the belief that it 
will find many excellent things to commend, and with the hope 
that it may develop suggestions that will prove valuable both 
to you and to the various official sources of information which 
you are trying to co-ordinate. 

You have been unselfish enough to suggest that this committee 
be made up of some of your severest critics, but it seems the 
better way to appoint a thoroughly representative judicial body 
of men, who would not be tempted to sustain destructive criti- 
cism and who may be constructive in their report. 

Unquestionably such a committee as yours can be of even 
greater service to our beloved country at this vital juncture, 
in giving the departments of the government a thoroughly 
acceptable publicity and at the same time of a type to which 
the newspapers will respond with the fullest sympathy. As 
soon as this committee is made up, I will take pleasure in giving 
you its personnel, in order that an agreement may be made as 
to the time for its work. Trusting this may be satisfactory, 
I am, 

Sincerely yours, 


May 4, 1918. 

The Raleigh Hotel, Washington, D. C. 

I am very happy to learn of your decision, and I agree with 
your point of view entirely. Virtually every paper in the coun- 
try took the view that Mr. Rogers was speaking for the American 
Newspaper Publishers' Association, and nearly all of the head- 
lines made the flat statement that it was "the publishers" who 
denounced me. The whole thing was so cruel and unfair that 
it was impossible for me at the time to keep out all feeling. 

Will you be kind enough to let me see you before you announce 
a committee, for I think the appointments should be accompanied 
by a letter defining its attitude and its functions in line with the 



views expressed in your letter of May 4th. This accompanying 
statement can be framed so as to lift the whole thing out of the 
personal and up to the higher level of the co-operative. 




It will be seen by these letters that I agreed to the 
elimination of the "Rogers incident," instead of insisting 
that he be forced on the witness-stand, and yet even after 
this concession I was not able to force the investigation 
that was due the Committee as a matter of common 
decency. Mr. Glass and Mr. McAneny gave good and 
honest effort to bring it about, but all the king's horses 
could not have dragged one of my enemies to Washington 
for the purpose of surveying the work of the Committee 
and reporting upon it. They preferred their prejudices to 
facts, their lies to truth. 



ONE of the chief bitternesses against the Committee 
on Public Information was that it did not preach a 
gospel of hate. It is significant indeed that the attack 
never proceeded from the fighting force itself, or from men 
and women actually and actively engaged in war-work, 
but came invariably from "leagues" and "societies" oper- 
ating in the name of "patriotism." It was not that these 
groups were bloodthirsty, or that they did not want to 
be helpful, but simply that chauvinism was forced upon 
them by the necessities of their organization. Being de- 
pendent for existence upon cash donations, it was essential 
that they "make a showing" in order that contributions 
might continue to be attracted. As they were outside the 
regular war-machinery, and especially as they were not 
organized for fixed service, it was inevitable that these 
"societies" and "leagues" should turn to the emotions 
as a field of activity, and try for an effect of value by noise, 
attack, and hysteria. 

In the first days the Committee tried faithfully to estab- 
lish working relations with such organizations, but it soon 
developed that they did not want to put their emotionalism 
in harness, but preferred to keep it free for exhibition 
purposes. For a time they filled the air with all sorts of 
sensational charges with regard to "spies" and "intrigue," 
but after one high official was called before a New York 



grand jury and forced to admit sheer recklessness of state- 
ment, they confined themselves to general thundering. 
The following correspondence is submitted as an illustra- 
tion of method: 

March 27, 1918. 

Committee on Public Information, Washington, D. C. 

As patriotic citizens endeavoring to support the Administra- 
tion and to help win the war, we now feel compelled to bring to 
your attention a feature of the activities of the Committee on 
Public Information which we believe to be harmful. We pro- 
test that the attitude of that Committee is so pacific that now 
some of its work amounts to giving comfort to the enemy. 

As an exhibit, we cite herewith the letter of the United States 
Commissioner of Education, Dr. P. P. Claxton, to Dr. R. L. 
Slagle, president of the University of South Dakota, published 
by the Creel Committee on Public Information on March 19th, 
in an Official Bulletin, from which we quote the following astound- 
ing statement: "Germany may even yet become one of the 
leading nations for the preservation of the peace of the world." 
We are greatly surprised that Mr. Creel should publish this 
pro-German letter in the Official Bulletin. 

We respectfully point out that on the side of our enemies the 
present war has no parallel in any of the previous wars in which 
our country ever engaged. The rapacity, the ferocity, and the 
unspeakably vile methods of the military millions of Germany 
constitute a factor never before met with in warfare between 
civilized peoples. Our present enemies are in a class by them- 
selves, and the conditions they have created must be met on our 
part by new alignments of thought and action. We can fight 
Christian enemies who fight honorably and fairly, and with 
humane regard for the weak and the defenseless, and easily 
become friends with them after the conflict. This is possible 
because fair-fighting enemies do not forfeit respect. 

With Germany, however, we are confronted by a totally differ- 
ent case. On account of innumerable brutal and debasing acts, 
the whole German nation has forfeited our respect; and aside 
from a very small minority, the acts and the character of Germany 



and the German people will not be forgotten by the American 
people in any less than one hundred years. Every true history 
of the war will be a history of the crimes of Germany. 

Although the crimes of Germany in Europe have been com- 
mitted by men in uniform, so far as we know, no eye-witness 
observer of the so-called "German people" ever has published 
one statement that the civilians of Germany were opposed to 
the war, or that they deplored the ruthless methods of the Ger- 
man military monsters of cruelty and destruction. On the con- 
trary, we know from eye-witness testimony that "the German 
people" have universally taken great delight in the destruction of 
the unarmed people of London by air-craft bombs, the destruc- 
tion of the passengers of the Lusitania and hundreds of other 
merchant ships by submarines, and they have silently acquiesced 
in the murder of eight hundred thousand Armenian Christians 
by the brutal Turks. 

It is our conviction that the great majority of the American 
people now regard the army, the navy, and the people of Germany 
with horror and aversion. We are quite sure that the German 
language now is a hated language, and long will remain so. 
We believe that all efforts to condone its use in our schools will 
be resented by the American people, as we ourselves resent them. 
We regard the letter of Commissioner Claxton as an error of 
judgment, and decidedly calculated to give "comfort to the 

Furthermore, we believe that the Creel Committee on Public 
Information has signally failed to put into the hands of our 
American soldiers and sailors any publication adequately telling 
them in plain language what they are fighting for, and why they 
should hate the enemy they are expected to meet and kill. We 
say this because we are informed that to-day many soldiers are 
asking their officers why America is in the war, and we are told 
that those officers need the information in order to give it out. 
In speaking of captured American soldiers now in Germany, 
the Vossische Zeitung newspaper says: 

"They don't seem to entertain any deep-rooted hatred of Ger- 
many. If you ask them why they are making war on Germany 
you will always get the same answer: * Because Wilson says it 
is necessary!" 3 

It is common knowledge that about three months ago out of 
about one hundred American soldiers in France who were asked 



one by one, "Why are you in the war?" the great majority of 
the answers showed an astounding lack of information regarding 
Germany, of appreciation of the crimes of her troops, and of the 
real reasons why we are in the war. 

Very truly yours, 


R. M. HURD, 

Chairman, Board of Trustees. 


Secretary. Chairman, Executive Committee. 

April 2, 1918. 
MR. R. M. HURD, 

American Defense Society, New York, N. Y. 

Your circular letter, sent to various officials of the government, 
as well as to myself, deals principally with the Claxton letter 
which appeared in the Official Bulletin of March 19th. I admit 
to you that I am absolutely opposed to many of the points made 
by Doctor Claxton, and had I seen the letter prior to its publica- 
tion I would not have consented to its appearance. It came 
over from the Department of the Interior, however, and the 
editor of the Bulletin felt that it was official matter duly author- 
ized, so did not take it up with me as is usually the case with 
articles involving policies. I have not made the matter the sub- 
ject of any public dissent, for I feel that these mistakes of judg- 
ment should be remedied through personal approach, and not 
in the columns of the press. 

Your flat statement that the Committee on Public Information 
has signally failed in its duty to acquaint the people in the fight- 
ing forces of the United States with the causes of war, and the 
true nature of the foe, proves only that you have not taken the 
trouble to examine the matter sent out by this Committee. 
As to why we fight, I am sending you, under separate cover, a 
copy of How the War Came to America, The War Message and 
Facts Behind It, The President's Flag Day Speech with Evidence 
of Germany's Plans, together with various other pamphlets 
bearing upon the same subject. 

As evidence of the cruel and inhuman character of the war 



methods of the foe, I send you also a copy of German War Prac- 
tices, Conquest and Kultur, and other pamphlets of similar nature. 

Your quotation from the Vossische Zeitung strikes me as a 
trifle naive, for it is the point of view that a German paper would 
naturally take, and is in support of the lies with which they have 
been filling their people from the beginning. To have the Amer- 
ican Defense Society swallow their propaganda whole is indeed 
a victory for the German campaign. 

Your insistence that the great majority of soldiers in France 
show "an astounding lack of information regarding Germany," 
and "of appreciation of the crimes of her troops," is somewhat 
amazing to me. For three years the daily papers of the United 
States have been filled with the horrors of Belgium, the shame 
of the Serbian campaign, the ravishment of northern France, 
and the brutalities of the U-boat campaign, and what you ask 
us to assume is that the youth of America have never read these 
papers, and are waiting for some government pamphlet to tell 
them about the Lusitania and other crimes of the Imperial 
German government. 

It is true that this Committee has never preached any doc- 
trine of hate, for it is not our duty to deal in emotional appeals, 
but to give the people the facts from which conclusions may be 
drawn. And nothing is more untrue than to say that we have 
failed in this regard. Proof of this can be found in inspection 
of literature we have issued, the articles we have sent out for 
publication in the press, the speeches of Four Minute Men, and 
all the other varied activities of the Committee. 

I dispute flatly your assertion that after three years of German 
warfare the people of the United States are still ignorant of 
German savagery, just as I dispute flatly your assumption that 
the speeches of the President of the United States, defining the 
causes of war, have not been read by any one. The people of 
the United States do understand, and the proof of it lies in the 
fact that the mothers of the country have given their sons to 
the Selective Service Law without question, that every Liberty 
Loan has been oversubscribed, and that no request of govern- 
ment has ever lacked complete response. Perhaps it is that 
this very indomitableness of resolve, this iron determination, 
leaves no room for the manifestations of surface passion. 

Very truly, 

GEORGE CREEL, Chairman. 



September 12, 1918. 

31 Pine Street, New York, N. Y. 

Certain New York papers, under date of September 12th, 
carry articles to the effect that the National Security League 
has forced the suppression of a book, entitled 2,000 Questions 
and Answers About the War, with the foreword by me, the plain 
inference being drawn that this "Masterpiece of Hun Propa- 
ganda," as your organization styles it, was being freely circulated 
without criticism of any kind until your own investigators took 
patriotic action. 

I cannot forgo a public protest against the singular dishonesty 
and even indecency of this publicity. The book, instead of being 
without responsible authorship, bore the imprint of The Review 
of Reviews, and so far back as June 26th I wrote the following 
letter to Dr. Albert Shaw: 

June 26, 1918. 

Review of Reviews, New York City, N. Y. 

While it is true that I glanced through the proofs of 2,000 
Questions and Answers About the War, before I wrote my foreword, 
it is equally true that I relied less upon my hasty reading than 
upon my absolute faith in you. 

The last week or so I have made a more careful study of the 
book, and I must confess to a very definite disturbance of mind. 
The whole tone of the book strikes me as being 50-50, for nowhere 
in it can I find the fundamental truth that Germany was entirely 
responsible for this war, and that it is a war of self-defense upon 
the part of the liberal nations of the world. In connection with 
atrocities, deportations, hostages, use of gas, I am also unable 
to find anything that is in the nature of a straight-out condemna- 
tion of the Germans. 

I feel sure that you yourself could not have had much to do with 
the book, or else the articles would have had a more intense 
Americanism and less of the evasive, straddling note. If there 
is a second edition, I do wish that you would take the whole 



matter up with me, so that this very valuable contribution to 
war can be given greater effectiveness. 




This letter was followed at once by seven single-spaced type- 
written pages, pointing out specific objections. Doctor Shaw 
replied at once, promising instant correction and fullest revision. 
He also stated that the book was based upon the accumulation 
of material secured in advance sheets from the well-known 
British journalist, the son of the late William T. Stead, and be- 
cause of its source the editors had not given it the necessary 
searching scrutiny. 

I then took up the matter with Mr. George H. Doran, the 
publisher, who, with his usual eager patriotism, agreed that the 
sale of the book should be stopped until its contents were satis- 
factory to me. Because there was not the slightest evidence 
of any premeditated pro-Germanism in the matter, because the 
good faith and true Americanism of all the parties in the contro- 
versy were so obvious, and because the book itself had been 
stopped and a new edition under way, I avoided all publicity 
in the matter out of my desire to work no injustice to any one. 

All these facts were laid before Professor van Tyne of your 
organization. By his careful suppression of them in the story 
that he gave to the press, I am led to believe that his sense of 
honor is somewhat subordinated to his weakness for a little 
cheap notoriety. 

Very truly, 



September 20, 1918. 

President, National Security League, New York City, N. Y. 

Your letter of the 13th instant, for some reason or other, 
ignores entirely the fundamental questions in controversy. 
Over his own signature, Dr. Claude H. van Tyne, speaking for 
the National Security League, made this explicit statement: 



"No author's name is given, so that no one else is respon- 
sible but the writer of the introduction. 

"If Mr. Creel indorses ideas like these, as it seems he must, 
since he heartily recommends this book in his introduction, 
is he a safe man to occupy the position he does, so potent for 
the good or ill of our cause?" 

At the time when he made this statement he was fully informed 
that the book, 2,000 Questions and Answers About the War, had 
been prepared by The Review of Reviews, and that Dr. Albert 
Shaw was responsible for its issuance. 

Also, at every point in the publicity of Doctor van Tyne, he 
gave the inference, and permitted the deduction, that I had done 
nothing whatsoever in the matter of suppressing the book, but 
that his task of suppression was undertaken by others more 
vigilant and more patriotic than myself. 

At the time that he gave this unfair and misleading impres- 
sion to the public he had been informed that at my own request, 
made two months before, the first limited edition of the book 
had been withdrawn from sale; that the new edition had been 
held up, and that every force in my power had been devoted to 
preventing the circulation of matter against which I myself 
had been the first to protest. 

It was because of these two things, and these two alone, that 
I branded the publicity of the National Security League as 
"indecent and dishonest," and by this statement I stand 

The New York Times, in its issue of September 13th, after 

considering the whole controversy, concluded with this paragraph : 

"The National Security League, through its publicity 

agent, E. L. Harvey, said, when asked why the explanation 

of The Review of Reviews had not appeared at the same time 

with the attack on the book, that it was not the business of 

the League to defend the magazine or its publishers. If they 

had any defense, he added, they could make it themselves." 

I say to you \ j;ry deliberately that this point of view, whether 

that of any employee or of the organization itself, is in itself as 

singularly dishonest and indecent as the original offense. 

This whole matter is worthy to be dealt with in some detail, 
since it establishes quite clearly the fundamental differences 
between the Committee on Public Information and the National 
Security League. 



When Dr. Albert Shaw first approached me with regard to 
a foreword, I glanced hastily through the proofs in order to as- 
certain its nature. The purpose impressed me as important 
and my failure to give the book any closer reading was due to 
these facts: my faith in Doctor Shaw; knowledge that the 
material came from British sources exclusively, and that every 
line of it had passed through the British censorship. This may 
not be an excuse, but it is an honest explanation. 

The book was issued on June 20th in an edition of five thousand. 
On June 26th, certain disturbing points having been called to 
my attention by my associates, I wrote Doctor Shaw, protesting 
specifically against the 50-50 tone of the book and its failure to 
make a straight-out condemnation of the Germans. I followed 
this up immediately by a personal interview with Doctor Shaw, 
in which he gave his assurance that no single other copy of the 
book would be issued until it had been changed to meet my own 
ideas and the ideas of the French and the British. In con- 
firmation of this, Mr. George H. Doran, the publisher, returned 
every unsold book to The Review of Reviews. 

I had then two courses of action open to me, either to make 
public announcement of my position or else to rest satisfied 
with the instant and eager acquiescence of the publishers in the 
work of suppression and correction. 

To take the first course was to save myself from attack at 
the expense of the men in whose honesty and patriotism I had 
every faith. Like myself, Doctor Shaw had accepted the source 
as authoritative; Mr. George H. Doran, the publisher, is a one- 
hundred-per-cent. American, and at no point was there the slight- 
est evidence of premeditated pro-Germanism. To-day the whole 
matter is being rewritten by British and French official authori- 
ties and by the highest sources of American public opinion. 

It is also true that my relations with the publishers of the 
country are very intimate and very important. Without force 
of law, and with no larger authority than an appeal to their 
patriotism, I have procured the suppression of scores of books 
that, while not pro-German in any degree, have at the same 
time given false and misleading impressions of America's war 
aims. All this work has been done without blare of trumpets. 
It has been done without discredit to honest publishers, and so 
it was that I resolved to adhere to this fixed policy and rested 
content with the virtual suppression of the book. 



It is with this policy that the National Security League seems 
to be in fundamental disagreement. Your emphasis is on the 
destructive rather than on the constructive; more on your own 
identity and less on justice and unity. 

Very truly, 




WASHINGTON, April 10, 1918. 

The Senate Office Building, City. 

I have just received your note asking for the facts in connec- 
tion with the charge that I "thanked God" that we were not 
prepared when America entered the war. I am only too glad 
to give them, but trust that you will not let your generous feeling 
in the matter lead you into any open discussion on the Senate 

These hues and cries are best handled by being permitted to 
die of their own violence. Lies are only fanned to new flame 
by thrashing at them. My enemies newspapers and partizan 
malignants do not mean to be fair, and I have found that this 
very unfairness comes in time to be my best defense. It is also 
the case that I am driven night and day by the demands of my 
work, and I have not the time, even if I had the inclination, to 
engage in long, tedious debates or correspondence whenever a 
reporter or a member of Congress tortures some act or word of 
mine into a crime. 

The speech in question was made before the lecturers of the 
Lyceum and Chautauqua Association, men and women who go 
from coast to coast in the course of the year, talking intimately 
to thousands. The meeting, in fact, was held in Washington 
at my reqi&st, for I wanted these people to gain the inspiration 
bred by hearing Cabinet members, high executives, ambassadors, 
and all others concerned with the direction of the war. As 
part of my regular work I secured their speakers, and no more 
important list was ever compiled. 

In opening the session I told them that they should regard 



themselves as soldiers called to the colors in the fight for public 
opinion, and that wherever they went, wherever they spoke, it 
was their duty to drive home the justice of America's cause. 
In the sane sense of the word, these men and women were paci- 
fists, meaning that they hated war. And Chautauqua audiences, 
for the most part, are rural in their character, sharing little in 
the mob excitements of cities, peace-loving to the last degree, 
and holding deeply to the traditional prejudice against "en- 
tangling alliances." 

What I tried to do in my speech was to prove conclusively 
that the war was a war of self-defense, and that our free institu- 
tions were as much attacked, and in as great danger, as if the foot 
of the German was on our very soil. And because the question 
of our "preparedness" was, in its essence, the moral ground upon 
which we rested our justification before the world, I went into 
it from the very beginning. 

In my remarks, I tried to point out what seemed to me the 
state of mind of the American people during the first years of 
the European War. It was not immediately, by any means, 
that the full horror of Germany's crimes and purposes penetrated 
the national consciousness. Not at the time of the German 
invasion, or for months afterward, was the question of a pro- 
test by the United States even suggested in Congress or advo- 
cated in the press. The visit of the Belgian deputation in Septem- 
ber, 1914, moved our sympathies, but not our resolution. 

As the war progressed, it became increasingly apparent that 
the neutrality approved by the nation and enforced by Pres- 
ident Wilson was menaced at many points by the refusal of the 
Imperial German government to abide by international law. 
As our protest was against the use of force as a means of solving 
international disputes, our first logical and consistent course 
could have been no other than an honest appeal to the law that 
we were insisting should be respected. 

President Wilson, following in the footsteps of Washington, 
Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Grant, all of whom were Pres- 
idents during periods in which belligerents violated American 
rights of neutrality, held to orderly procedure, refusing to resort 
to force until every peaceful means of adjusting differences had 
been exhausted. 

The notes to Germany were more than diplomatic exchanges 
designed to redress certain definite wrongs. They were affidavits 
30 453 



attesting our passion for peace and the utter selflessness of our 
purposes; they were the foundation stones for our present justi- 
fication; and because of these notes it is the case to-day that the 
citizen confesses disloyalty and treason who dares to say that 
war was not forced upon America and that it is not a war of self- 
defense in behalf of free institutions and human liberty. 

Even in Germany to-day they admit the justice of our cause 
when they debate the wisdom of their policy in driving us into 
the war. At home, this historic and just policy laid the founda- 
tions for unexampled national unity on the part of our people 
in support of measures against a power whose hideous purposes 
stood self-confessed. It created a national morale which will 
not only weather every storm, but stand unshaken when the 
deeps of our national and domestic life are stirred by sacrifice 
and suffering. 

I stand absolutely on the sense of my words when I say that 
it is the glory of America, as it is of Belgium and of England and 
France, that is asking and expecting these sacrifices to the utter- 
most; we can say honestly to every man in the trenches and every 
home in sorrow that we strove to keep the peace, and that 
these supremest offerings may be given to a nation that never 
betrayed itself or its people by striving for peace as a blind for 
preparing for war. 

What I thanked God for was that America could stand before 
the world with conscience clear of blood-guilt; that to the 
future we could hold clear hands; that while we pleaded for peace 
we did not tug secretly at the sword; that not until pleading 
became dishonor did we put down the pen and turn to the busi- 
ness of war. 

I shall always thank God for this fact. I would rather be 
an American, killed in the unpreparedness that proved devotion 
to declared principles, than a German living as the result of 
years of lying, sneaking, treacherous preparation for a wolf's 
spring at the throat of an unsuspecting world. And it is this 
deep conviction of honor and faith that will win for us. 

I can only add in conclusion that the men and women who 
heard me united in an unanimous vote of thanks for my "most 
patriotic speech." 

Believe me, sir, 

Very gratefully yours, 






1. How the War Came to America 5,428,048 

Swedish edition 67,487 

Polish " 82,658 

German " 292,610 

Italian " 129,860 

Spanish 96,816 

Bohemian " 121,058 

Portuguese " 9,375 

2. National Service Handbook 454,699 

3. The Battle-line of Democracy 94,848 

4. The President's Flag Day Address, with Evidence 

of Germany's Plans 6,813,340 

5. Conquest and Kultur. Edited by WALLACE NOTE- 

STEIN and ELMER E. STOLL (University of Min- 
nesota) 1,203,607 

6. German War Practices. Part I. "Treatment of 

Civilians." Edited by DANA C. MUNRO (Prince- 
ton University), GEORGE C. SELLERY (Univer- 
sity of Wisconsin), and AUGUST C. KREY (Uni- 
versity of Minnesota) 1,592,801 

7. War Cyclopedia. A Handbook for Ready Refer- 

ence on the Great War. Edited by FREDERIC L. 
PAXSON (JJniversity of Wisconsin), EDWARD S. 
CORWIN (Princeton University), and SAMUEL 

B. HARDING (Indiana University) 195,231 

8. German Treatment of Conquered Territory. (Part 

II of German War Practices.) Edited by DANA 

C. MUNRO (Princeton University), GEORGE C. 
SELLERY (University of Wisconsin), and AU- 
GUST C. KREY (University of Minnesota) 720,848 

9. War, Labor, and Peace: Some Recent Addresses 

and Writings of the President 584,027 

10. German Plots and Intrigues. Edited by E. E. 
SPERRY of Syracuse University and W. M. 

WEST, formerly of Minnesota 127,153 




1. The War Message and the Facts Behind It. Ed- 

ited by WILLIAM STERNS DAVIS (University 

of Minnesota) 2,499,903 

2. The Nation in Arms. Two addresses by Secre- 

taries LANE and BAKER 1,666,231 

3. The Government of Germany. By CHARLES D. 

HAZEN (Columbia University) 1,798,155 

German edition 20,500 

4. The Great War: From Spectator to Participant. 

By ANDREW C. MCLAUGHLIN (University of 

Chicago) 1,581,903 

5. A War of Self-defense. Addresses by Secretary 

LANSING and Louis F. POST, Assistant Secre- 
tary of Labor 721,944 

6. American Loyalty. By American Citizens of 

German Descent 702,598 

7. Amerikanische Burgertreue. A German transla- 

tion of Number 6 564,787 

8. American Interest in Popular Government Abroad. 

By E. B. GREENE (University of Illinois) 596,533 

9. Home Heading Course for Citizen Soldiers. Pre- 

pared by the War Department 361,000 

10. First Session of the War Congress. By CHARLES 

MERZ 608,950 

11. The German War Code. By G. W. SCOTT (Colum- 

bia University) and J. W. GARNER (University 

of Illinois) 514,452 

12. American and Allied Ideals. By STUART P. SHER- 

MAN (University of Illinois) 228,986 

13. German Militarism and Its German Critics. By 


German edition 103,300 

14. The War for Peace. By ARTHUR D. COLL, Secre- 

tary of the American Peace Society 302,370 

15. Why America Fights Germany. By JOHN P. 

TATLOCK (Stanford University) 725,345 

16. The Study of the Great War. By SAMUEL B. 

HARDING (Indiana University) 678,929 



17. The Activities of the Committee on Public Infor- 

mation 23,800 

18. Regimental History of the U. S. Regular Army (for 

war correspondents only) 1,000 

19. Lieber and Schurz: Two Loyal Americans of Ger- 

man Birth. By E. B. GREENE (University of 

Illinois) 26,360 

20. The German-Bolshevik Conspiracy. Documents 

and report by EDGAR SISSON 137,375 

21. America's War Aims and Peace Terms. By CARL 

BECKER (Cornell University) 719,315 

A series of leaflets of ordinary envelope size 

1. Friendly Words to the Foreign Born. By HON. 

JOSEPH BUFFINGTON, senior United States Cir- 
cuit Judge of the Third Circuit. (Translations 
into the principal foreign languages.) 570,543 

2. The Prussian System. By FREDERIC C. WAL- 

COTT, of the United States Food Administration 571,036 

3. Labor and the War. President Wilson's address 

to the American Federation of Labor, Novem- 
ber 12. 1917 509,550 

4. A War Message to the Farmer. By PRESIDENT 

WILSON 546,911 

5. Plain Issues of the War. By ELIHU ROOT, ex- 

Secretary of State 112,492 

6. Ways to Serve the Nation. A proclamation by 

the President, April 16, 1917 568,907 

7. What Really Matters. By a well-known news- 

paper writer 574,502 


(In German) 

My London Mission (Prince Lichnowsky) 661,300 

The Meaning of America 10,421 

The Democratic Rising of the German People in '4$. . . 20,320 



On Loyalty, Liberty, and Democracy 19,070 

American Friends of German Democracy 61,500 

Democracy, the Heritage of All 30,000 

The Root of the Evil 30,000 

No Qualified Americanism 30,100 

German Militarism and Its German Critics 1,500 


Why Workingmen Support the War 313,535 

Who Is Paying for This War 313,082 

German Socialists and the War 316,005 

To the Workers of Free America 323,605 

What Can Your Local Branch Do? 15,000 

Labor's Red, White, and Blue Book 99,385 


The Freedom of the World (Spanish) 102,967 

The German Plan (Spanish) 95,798 

American Loyalty (Spanish) 124,229 

The Meaning of the War 125,100 

The Lichnowsky Revelation (Spanish) 46,850 

Labor and the War (Spanish) 48,611 

A Call to My Fatherland (German) 60,500 

German Plots and Intrigues (Spanish) 49,750 

German Plots and Intrigues (Portuguese) 15,000 

America's War Aims (Spanish) 98,000 


National School Service 4,251,570 

The Kaiserite in America. By HARVEY J. O'HiGGiNS 5,550,521 

Germany's Confession 324,935 

The German Whisper. By HARVEY J. O'HIGGINS. . . 437,484 

Farmers 9 Bulletin 8,000 

Purpose and Scope of the Speaking Division 25,000 

Issues of the War at a Glance 25,000 

For Freedom (Serbian National Defense) 5,000 

War Savings Campaign Appeals 6,000 



War Publications Bulletin 13,126,006 

Division of Films Bulletin 121,119 

Selective Service Registration Bulletin 756,700 

Advertising Bulletin (for Registration Day) 112,000 

"Register" (Four Minute Men) 1,606,350 

Poster. "Why Germany Wants Peace" 31,000 

Posters. "Capitol Building" 26,100 

Posters. "Independence Hall" 26,100 

Posters for War Cyclopedia 2,050 

Posters. "America Gave You All" 7,500 

Map. "The Pan-German Plan" 122,000 

Newspaper, United States Department of Labor. . . . 80,000 

Streamers, Four Minute Men 25,000 

Nine lectures to accompany slides 45,000 

War Work of Women in Colleges .' 50,000 

Post-cards J 1,687,408 

Official Bulletin 2,154,809 

46 Bulletins for Four Minute Men 4,974,000 

26 Bulletins for Bureau of Cartoons 25,000 

America in War and Peace (Ukrainian) 40,000 

A Message to American Hungarians (Magyar) 40,000 

Abraham Lincoln (Russian) 40,000 




Ackerman, Lieut. F. E. 67, 365. 

Adams, Herbert, 134. 

Adams, Samuel Hopkins, 88, 225. 

Altrocchi, Dr. Rudolph, 300. 

Altschul, Charles, 107. 

Anderson, Louis M., 186. 

Andreen, Gustav, 185. 

Andrews, Mary Shipman, 262. 

Antonsen, Carl, 185. 

Arnold, Perry, 234, 251, 254. 

Atherton, Gertrude, 261. 


Bagley, W. C., 112. 

Bagues, Mme. Edith, 292, 293. 

Bakeman, George, 380. 

Baker, Ray Stannard, 413. 

Banning, Kendall, 118. 

Barnes, H. Y., 279, 380. 

Barr, Gertrude, 300. 

Baruch, Bernard, 52. 

Beach, Rex, 225. 

Becker, Prof. Carl, 103, 106. 

Beeman, Marcus A., 122. 

Bennington, Arthur, 300. 

Bergquist, J. C., 185. 

Bernays, Edward 266. 

Bernstein, Herman, 278 

Berton, Claude, 293. 

Bestor, Arthur E., 149, 150, 154, i55. 

Bjorkman, Edwin, 184, 185, 230, 265. 

Blair, William McCormick, 66. 88, 93. 

Blaisdell, L. S., 370. 

Blankenburg, Rudolph, 188. 

Blashfield, E. H., 134 r 

Bohn, Dr. Frank, 153, 191. 

Bohn, Dr. William H., 153, 188. 

Bonaschi, Dr. Albert. 186, 199. 

Bonnifield, R., 231. 

Bothwell, George, 380, 392. 

Bowles, George, 121. 

Boyle, Virginia Frazer, 225. 

Brace, A., 293. 

Bricker, William R., 189. 

Broun, Hey wood, 81. 

Brown, Prof. G. S., 371. 

Brown, L. Ames, 80, 226. 

Brown, P. P., 231. 

Brown, William Adams, 380, 383, 396. 

Brown, Major W. L., 152. 

Bruere, Martha Bensley, 225. 

Brulatour, Jules E., 274. 

Bullard, Arthur, 19, 70, 100, 102, 248, 

278, 279, 288, 375, 379, 380, 383, 

385, 394, 395, 433. 
Bullen, P. S., 231. 
Bullock, W. F., 231. 
Butler, Ellis Parker, 225, 261 
Butman, Carl H., 82. 
Butz, Otto C., 188. 
Byoir, Carl, 66, 248, 275, 404, 419, 427, 


Call, Arthur D., 106. 

Carnes, William, 380. 

Carpio, Sefior Manuel, 227. 

Casey, F. De Sales, 134. 

Cassuto, Aldo, 230. 

Catt, Mrs. Carrie Chapman, 212. 

Ceglinsky, Nicholas, 199. 

Chadbourne, Waldmar, 346. 

Chilberg, J. E., 185. 

Child, Richard Washburn, 225. 

Christensen, John C., 185. 

Clark, Miss Eleanor, 219. 

Clark, S. H., 88. 

Clark, S. J., 231. 

Clark, Victor, 111 



Clarkin, Franklin, 380. 
Clarkson, Ralph, 134. 
Clausen, W. B., 253. 
Collins, James H., 225. 
Collins, John, 253, 372. 
Collins, Sewall, 346. 
Collins, Seward B., 343. 
Commons, Prof. John R., 106. 
Connell, Catherine, 219. 
Connor, Professor, 111. 
Converse, Miss Antonio Thornton Jenk- 
ins, 219. 

Cook, Sir Theodore, 255. 
Coolidge, Prof. A. C., 111. 
Cooper, F. G., 134. 
Copeland, C. W., 371. 
Cordner, E. Q., 300. 
Corwin, Professor, 108. 
Coss, Dr. J. J., 108. 
Cotillo, Senator Salvatore, 300. 
Craig, H. D., 446. 
Crawford, Arthur, 82. 
Crocker, Frederico, 368. 
Crossley, Captain, 346. 
Crow, Carl, 249, 254, 361. 
Crowder, General E. H., 195. 
Culbertson, Henry C., 152. 
Cusack, Thomas, 158. 
Czabulk, Gustave, 422. 

D'Arcy, W. C., 144, 158. 

Davenport, Prof. Eugene, 225. 

Davies, W. W., 231. 

Davis, Jerome, 377. 

Davis, Malcolm, 380, 383, 393. 

Davis, M. W., 394, 395. 

Davis, Prof. S. W., 102. 

Dawson, William, 368. 

Dayton, F. E., 134. 

de Bryas, Countess Madeleine, 151. 

Decker, Capt. Benton C., 339, 345, 346. 

de Courtivron, Marquise Crequi de 

Montfort, 153. 

Deeds, Col. Edward A., 45, 46, 52. 
Delavaud, Henri Collins, 231. 
De Lima, Arthur, 309. 
Delmas, H., 231. 
De Mora, Sefior I., 346. 

Dever, Lem A., 380. 
Dilnot, Frank, 231. 
Dodd, Professor, 111. 
Dodge, Philip L., 88. 
Doran, George H., 451. 
Doskow, I., 134. 
Dowling, Loretta, 220. 
Durant, Kenneth, 83, 300. 


Eaton, Walter Prichard, 262. 
Eberlin, Viggo C., 199. 
Edwards, Paul L., 332. 
Egan, Martin, 291. 
Erskine, Prof. John, 225. 
Espinosa, Dr. M. K., 313. 
Evans, Sid., 380. 

Falls, Charles B., 134. 
Ferber, Edna, 262. 
Ferrera, Dr. F., 231. 
Ferretti, Andrea, 231. 
Fife, George B., 321. 
Fish, Professor, 111. 
Forbes, Helen, 219-220. 
Ford, Guy Stanton, 66, 86, 101.] 
Fordney, Representative, 54. 
Forster, Dr. William, 189. 
Foster, Maximilian, 257, 291. 
Franck, Harry A., 284. 
Fraser, Sir John Foster, 231. 
Frisbie, J. B., 316. 
Frost, Wesley, 153. 

Gallatin, Albert E. f 134. 
Gardner, Frank S., 254. 
Garner, Prof. J. W., 107. 
Garrett, John Work, 328, 334. 
Gay, Senor Jose M., 346. 
Gibbons, Herbert Adams, 296, 297. 
Gibson, Charles Dana, 134 139. 244. 
Gilbert, Cass, 134. 
Glaman, Otto J., 380, 393, 396. 
Glass, Frank P., 438. 
Gleason, Arthur, 262. 



Gocheler, Gertrude, 428. 
Goldman, Emma, 241. 
Gorton, Miss Elizabeth, 216, 217. 
Grahame, Leopold, 231. 
Creeling, Doctor, 191. 
Greene, Prof. Evarts B., 106-111. 
Greenleaf, Ray, 134. 
Griffis, C. V., 248, 280, 368. 
Grinndal, H. Gude, 198. 
Groszmann, Doctor, 264 
Grover, Oliver D., 134. 
Gundlach, E. T., 86. 
Gutmann, James, 108. 


Hackett, F. E., 224. 

Haggerty, Dennis J., 380. 

Hahn, Kurt, 331. 

Hall, E. W. M., 231. 

Hall, Henry N., 231. 

Handley, Mrs., 280. 

Hangan, Hauman G., 186. 

Hanse, Jens C., 185. 

Hansen, Sundby, 198. 

Harding, J. W., 231. 

Harding, Prof. Samuel, 108-111. 

Harn, O. C., 156, 158. 

Harrell, David, 346. 

Harris, Gerrard, 83. 

Hart, Charles S., 120-144, 244, 275. 

Hart, Wilbur H., 279. 

Harvey, Ellen, 217. 

Haskins, Frederick, 110. 

Hatada, Y., 231. 

Hatrick, Edgar B., 293, 294. 

Hazen, Prof. Charles D., 107-111. 

Hearley, John, 299, 419. 

Hecht, George J., 226. 

Hecht, Harold E.. 129. 

Hellrung, Axel, 185. 

Helwig, Capt. A. L., 190. 

Henius, Max, 185. 

Henschen, Henry S., 185. 

Herman, W. J., 231. 

Herrick, Robert, 261. 

Hertz, Henry L., 185. 

HJllier, Frank, 231. 

Hinkovic, Doctor, 187. 

Hirsimaki, Charles H., 199. 

Hirt, Dr. William H., 268. 
Hitchcock, E. H., 83. 
Hittinger, Capt. Joseph H., 142. 
Hoagland, H. C., 277, 301. 
Hobbs, E. H., 428. 
Hoffman, Dr. Frederick L., 188. 
Hoffman, Miss Malvina, 134. 
Hogue, Miss Helen M., 218. 
Houston, Herbert S., 156-158. 
Hovgaard, William, 185. 
Howells, Wm. Dean, 262. 
Howland, John P., 185. 
Hull, Professor, 111. 
Kurd, R. M., 446. 
Hurst, Fannie, 262. 
Hyde, James Hazen, 293. 

Ingersoll, William H., 88-93. 
Inman, Harry P., 279. 
Irwin, Wallace, 82, 225, 262. 
Irwin, Will, 200, 202, 247. 
Ivanowski, Sigismund, 186. 

Jacobi, Dr. Abraham, 188. 

Jacobsen, Halvor, 185. 

James, Major A. L., Jr., 287, 293. 

James, Senator Ollie, 452. 

Jameson, Prof. J. Franklin, 111. 

Jasberg, J. H., 186. 

Jenison, Miss Marguerite, 219. 

Jenkins, John Wilbur, 81. 

Johns, Wm. H., 158. 

Johnson, Professor, 111. 

Jones, Francis, 134. 

Jones, Lewis B., 158. 

Jury, Sir William, 299. 

Kaupas, Julius, 199. 
Keeley, James, 284. 
Kellogg, Dr. Vernon, 152. 
Kelly, E. W., 231. 
Kennaday, Paul, 261. 


Kerney," James F., 245, 248, 251, 284, 
. 290-297. 

Kinkaid, Mrs. Mary H., 212. 
Kitchen, Miss Dorothy Lewis, 214. 
Klein, Arthur, 224. 
Knecht, Marcel, 231. 
Knopf, Dr. S. Adolphus, 188 
Knutson, Representative, 55. 
Koenig, Prof. A. E., 153. 
Koettgen, Julius, 188, 189, 199 
Konta, Alex., 187. 
Kranz, Carl, 392. 
Krey, Prof. A. C., 106. 
Kuhn, L.. 314. 

Langquist, Andrew, 185. 
Larson, O. J., 186. 
Lauzanne, S., 232. 
Lawson, S. Levy, 232. 
Lee, C. D., 433. 
Leicht, Miss Gretchen, 226. 
Leland, Professor, 111. 
Levy, Leon, 232. 
Lewis, Read, 279, 380. 
Lewis, Wilmot A., 293. 
Lichnowsky, Prince, 189-312. 
Lieber, Richard, 189. 
Lindsey, Judge Ben B., 300. 
Lingelbach, Professor, 111. 
Livingston, Prof. Arthur, 263. 
Lodge, Senator H. C., 59. 
Loewy, Captain S., 232. 
Low, A. Maurice, 232. 
Lund, Harry A., 185. 


McAneny, George, 440. 
McClure, Frank W., 155. 
McConaghy, W. J., 80. 
McCormack, John, 204, 207. 
McCormick, Vance, 275. 
McGoodwin, Preston, 372. 
McGowan, Miss Constance Marguerite, 


Mclntyre, Gen. Frank, 75. 
McLaughlin, Andrew C., 106. 
McReynolds. Prof. F. W., 223, 224. 


MacCallum, N., 232. 

MacFarlane, Arthur, 226. 

Mack, Louis B., 119. 

Mansfield, Frank M., 293. 

Marion, Frank J., 248, 337, 338, 347. 

Markus, Alfred, 199. 

Marriott, Crittenden, 225. 

Martin, "Mac," 88. 

Masaryk, Dr. Thos. G., 186. 

Mason, Warren, 232. 

Mathie, Dr. Karl, 153, 188 

Matson, Norman, 270. 

Matthews, Arthur F., 134. 

Mattingly, Archibald, 83. 

Meek, Thos. J., 89. 

Meeker, Geo., 124. 

Mellet, J. C., 82. 

Merriam, Prof. Charles E., 244, 248, 299, 


Merwin, Samuel, 225, 262. 
Miller, Mrs. Laura, 217. 
Mladineo, Peter, 199. 
Montenegro, Ernest, 232. 
Mooney, Hon. Daniel, 368. 
Moran, Prof. Thos. F., 155. 
Morgan, Edwin V., 248, 372. 
Morgenstern, B., 377. 
Morris, Ira Nelson, 354. 
Morris, Miss Mildred, 214. 
Morris, Ambassador Roland, 249, 363. 
Morrison, Martin A., 224. 
Moses, Kingsley, 300. 
Moses, Miss Margaret, 214. 
Mundell, Mrs. William A., 214. 
Munroe, Prof. Dana C., 106-111. 
Murray, Robert H., 227, 228, 245, 248, 

303, 308, 309. 
Myhrman, Othelia, 185. 


Navarro, Prof. M. Romero, 341, 346. 

Neal, Jesse H., 158. 

Neble, Sophus F., 185. 

Nelson, Bertram G., 88. 

Nestor, Byron M., 300, 301. 

Newdick, Edwin, 82. 

Nicholson, Curtis, 88. 



Nicholson, Meredith, 225, 262. 

Niebuhr, Walter, 119. 

Nielsen, Truels P., 185. 

Nolan, Gen. Dennis E., 287, 293. 

Normile, Mrs. Florence, 216. 

Norton, Charles Philip, 279. 

Norton, Eric, 185. 

Norton, Phil, 380. 

Notestein, Prof. Wallace, 106-111. 

O'Higgms, Harvey, 225, 427. 
Olander, Victor, 185. 
Olsen, Harry, 185. 
O'Reilly, Lieut. P. S., 228, 254. 
Osland, Berger, 185. 
Owens, Hamilton, 263. 

Paderewski, 186. 

Paine, Ralph D., 225. 

Palavacini, Senor Felix, 227. 

Palmer, Eric, 248, 354. 

Paxon, Professor, 108. 

Payne, Will, 262. 

Peccorini, Lieut. Albert, 300. 

Peebles, Miss Catherine H., 219. 

Pennell, Joseph, 134, 342. 

Penrose, Senator Boise, 36-58. 

Pergler, Charles, 186. 

Perigord, Capt. Paul, 151. 

Pernis, James J. Van, 199. 

Perrin, Lester, 422. 

Perry, Paul, 248, 298. 

Peterson, Charles A., 185. 

Pettijohn, Prof. J. J., 155. 

Pew, Marlen, 82. 

Plottier, A., 232. 

Plowes, Senor Zamora, 227. 

Poindexter, Senator Miles, 58. 

Polignac, Marquis de, 154-293. 

Polonsky, Joseph, 199. 

Poole, Ernest, 70-103, 243, 244, 


Post, Louis F., 107. 
Potter, C. J., 160. 
Pou, Representative E. W., 61. 
Pousette-Dart, N., 134. 

Powell, J. B., 362. 
Pratt, Llewellyn, 144. 
Preciado, A. A., 248, 372. 


Quick, Herbert, 225. 
Quimby, Henry C., 446. 


Raine, Wm. MacLeod, 226. 

Randall, Helen, 214. 

Rankin, W. H., 146, 156, 157. 

Rascovar, E., 232. 

Reilly, Leigh, 80. 

Reilly, R. R., 254. 

Reinsch, Dr. Paul, 249-361. 

Renault, Louis, 296. 

Reuterdahl, Henry N., 134. 

Richards, Livy, 82. 

Rickey, Harry N., 247, 248, 298. 

Riesenberg, Henry, 153, 189. 

Riis, George Edward, 248, 349. 

Riis, Jacob, 248. 

Rinehart, Mary Roberts, 77, 225. 

Roche, Josephine, 191, 202. 

Rochester, E. S., 208. 

Rochon, R. J., 254. 

Rogers, Hopewell, 437. 

Rogers, W. A., 134. 

Rogers, Walter S., 231, 250, 254, 258, 

260, 414, 417, 433. 
Rohe, Alice, 300. 
Ronconi, Romeo, 232. 
Root, Elihu, 106. 

Rose, Miss Anna Maria Perrott, 220. 
Rosenmeyer, Doctor, 191. 
Rosenwald, Julius, 52. 
Rosett, Dr. Joshua, 380, 394. 
Rothapfel, L. S., 122. 
Rothman, A., 232. 
Rubel, Lawrence E., 118, 129. 
261, Russell, Charles Edward, 153, 154, 248, 

293, 298. 

Russell, Prof. William, 380, 394, 395. 
Ryan, John D., 52, 298. 
Ryerson, Donald, 84, 88, 93. 
Rygg, A. M., 186. 


Saperston, Alfred M. f 226. 

Schafer, Professor, 111. 

Schauer, George, 189. 

Schlegel, Charles J., 188. 

Schoolfield, Miss Sue, 219. 

Schoonmaker, Edwin, 380. 

Scott, Prof. G. W., 107. 

Scott, John Reed, 225. 

Searson, J. W., 112. 

Sellery, Prof. G. C., 106. 

Sevier, H. H., 248, 281. 365. 

Sharp, Ambassador, 291. 

Shaw, Dr. Albert, 448. 

Shaw, Dr. Anna Howard, 212. 

Shepard, William, 261. 

Sheridan, Jack, 134. 

Sherman, Prof. Stuart, 106. 

Shick, Miss Marie, 224. 

Shinn, Anne O'Hagan, 262, 270. 

Shotwell, Prof. James J., 103-111. 

Sigel, Franz, 187. 

Sihler, Dr. Christian, 188. 

Sihler, Miss K. Elizabeth, 188. 

Sisson, Edgar G., 19, 70-80, 103, 
247, 248, 277, 278, 287, 288, 
374, 404, 411, 419, 427, 433. 

Sleicher, William, 188. 

Smith, Guy Croswell, 248, 277, 355 

Smith, Preston Morris, 346. 

Smulski, John, 186. 

Snow, Dr. Francis, 263. 

Solari, Pietro, 230. 

Spargo, John, 225. 

Sperry, Prof. E. C., 106. 

Spilman, Miss Emily A., 224. 

Starr, E. L., 280. 

Steele, Rufus, 127. 

Stella, Dr. Antonio, 186. 

Steward, George F., 332. 

Stoica, Captain, 186. 

Stone, Melville E., 32. 

Stoll, Prof. E., 106. 

Stryckmans, Felix J., 205. 

Stuart, Wilmer, 232. 

Stub, Rev. J. A., 186. 

Sullivan, Denis, 124. 

Suter, Herman, 254, 417. 

Suydam, Henry, 248, 276, 327. 


Sweeney, Charles P., 83. 
Swensen, Lauritz S., 185. 
Swensen, Magnius, 185. 
Swettenham, Sir Frederick, 299. 
Szlupas, Doctor, 187. 

Tarbell, Ida, 212, 262. 

Tarkington, Booth, 225, 261, 262, 353. 

Tatlock, Prof. John P., 107, 131. 

Taylor, Mrs. Clara Sears, 212, 217, 220. 

Taylor, Graham, Jr., 375, 393. 

Thomas, Llewellyn R., 277, 333. 

Thorne, Van Buren, 232. 

Tobenkin, Elias, 263. 

Todd, Capt. David W., 251. 

Torrisen, Oscar M., 186. 

Tozzi, Capt. Piero, 300. 

Train, H. Scott, 134. 

Tread way, Representative, 54, 61. 

Tuerk, Lieut. John, 275, 281, 282. 

Turner, Prof. F. J., 111. 

Tuttle, Frank, 265. 

Tvrzicka, Mrs. Anna, 199. 

Usher. Roland G., 225. 

Vail, William L., 305. 

Van Noppen, Lieut. Leonard, 332. 

Verner, S. P., 248, 372. 

Vezey, H. Curtis, 388. 

Voska, Capt. Emanuel, 418. 


Walberg, Carl, 159, 164 
Walcott, Fred C., 107. 
Walker, Mrs. Susan Hunter, 216. 
Wallen, Theodore, 254. 
Walling, Wm. English, 225. 
W r anger, Lieut. Walter, 299, 301. 
Warren, Waldo, P., 86. 
Watson, Capt. Mark, 287. 
Webster, Henry Kitchell, 261. 
Webster, H. T., 134. 


Wedda, John, 186. 

Weeks, George F., 811. 

Wells, Capt. Chester, 346. 

Welsh, H. Devitt, 134. 

West, W. M., 106. 

Wheeler, Miss Gertrude R., 219-220. 

White, J. Andrew, 231. 

White, William Allen, 262. 

Whitehead, Walter, 134. 

Whitehouse, Mrs. Norman de R., 229, 

248, 276, 317-326. 

Whitehouse, Mr. Norman de R., 230. 
Whitlock, Brand, 312. 
Wile, Fred H., 412. 
Wiley, John C., 332. 
Williams, T. Walter, 232. 
Willing, J. Thompson, 134. 
Willoughby, Charles, 83. 
Wilson, Admiral, 291. 

Wilson, E. F., 254. 
Wilson, P. W., 232. 
Winters, Robert, 380. 
Wister, Owen, 261. 
Wojcieszak, Miss Wanda, 199. 
Woods, Arthur, 247. 
Wooley, Edward Mott, 225. 
Woolley, Clarence, 52. 
Wright, Mrs. Helen S., 220. 

Youngman, Elmer, 270. 

Zethelius, Olaf P., 198. 
Zook, Prof. George F., 132. 
Zorn, Prof. Otto Manthey, 189.